Effects of magnetic stray fields from a 7 Tesla MRI scanner on neurocognition: a double-blind randomised crossover study.

Institute for Risk Assessment Sciences, Utrecht University, PO Box 80178, Utrecht 3508 TD, The Netherlands
Occupational and environmental medicine (Impact Factor: 3.23). 08/2012; 69(10):759-66. DOI: 10.1136/oemed-2011-100468
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study characterises neurocognitive domains that are affected by movement-induced time-varying magnetic fields (TVMF) within a static magnetic stray field (SMF) of a 7 Tesla (T) MRI scanner.
Using a double-blind randomised crossover design, 31 healthy volunteers were tested in a sham (0 T), low (0.5 T) and high (1.0 T) SMF exposure condition. Standardised head movements were made before every neurocognitive task to induce TVMF.
Of the six tested neurocognitive domains, we demonstrated that attention and concentration were negatively affected when exposed to TVMF within an SMF (varying from 5.0% to 21.1% per Tesla exposure, p<0.05), particular in situations were high working memory performance was required. In addition, visuospatial orientation was affected after exposure (46.7% per Tesla exposure, p=0.05).
Neurocognitive functioning is modulated when exposed to movement-induced TVMF within an SMF of a 7 T MRI scanner. Domains that were affected include attention/concentration and visuospatial orientation. Further studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms and possible practical safety and health implications of these acute neurocognitive effects.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: To study patient tolerability of brain imaging that employs an ultrahigh field (7 T) MR system METHODS: We examined 180 subjects that underwent brain MR examination at 7 T. A tolerability test consisting of two parts (during patient table motion and during the examination) was administered to all subjects in order to monitor their discomfort. The scores range from 0 to 5 for the first part, and from 0 to 10 for the second part, the total score of each subject therefore ranging from 0 (no side effects reported) to 15 (lowest tolerability) RESULTS: A total of 51 % of subjects reported at least one side effect but all were mild in intensity and did not require examination interruption. No serious adverse event was reported. The total score (mean ± standard deviation) was 1.1 ± 1.5 out of 15 (mean score 0.4 ± 0.7 out of 5 during patient table motion and 0.7 ± 1.1 out of 10 during MR). Patient discomfort was not related to gender or health status, but it was reduced with time after system installation with increasing operator experience in performing UHF MR examinations. Ultrahigh field MRI is well tolerated without excessive discomfort to subjects. • 7-T MRI is well tolerated with low incidence of side effects • The subjects' discomfort during 7-T MRI is reduced as the operators' experience increases • 7-T MRI is practicable in healthy subjects and patients with neurodegenerative diseases.
    European Radiology 05/2014; · 4.34 Impact Factor
  • Current Radiology Reports. 08/2014; 2(8).
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Clinical and research staff who work around magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanners are exposed to the static magnetic stray fields of these scanners. Although the past decade has seen strong developments in the assessment of occupational exposure to electromagnetic fields from MRI scanners, there is insufficient insight into the exposure variability that characterizes routine MRI work practice. However, this is an essential component of risk assessment and epidemiological studies. This paper describes the results of a measurement survey of shift-based personal exposure to static magnetic fields (SMF) (B) and motion-induced time-varying magnetic fields (dB/dt) among workers at 15 MRI facilities in the Netherlands. With the use of portable magnetic field dosimeters, >400 full-shift and partial shift exposure measurements were collected among various jobs involved in clinical and research MRI. Various full-shift exposure metrics for B and motion-induced dB/dt exposure were calculated from the measurements, including instantaneous peak exposure and time-weighted average (TWA) exposures. We found strong correlations between levels of static (B) and time-varying (dB/dt) exposure (r = 0.88-0.92) and between different metrics (i.e. peak exposure, TWA exposure) to express full-shift exposure (r = 0.69-0.78). On average, participants were exposed to MRI-related SMFs during only 3.7% of their work shift. Average and peak B and dB/dt exposure levels during the work inside the MRI scanner room were highest among technical staff, research staff, and radiographers. Average and peak B exposure levels were lowest among cleaners, while dB/dt levels were lowest among anaesthesiology staff. Although modest exposure variability between workplaces and occupations was observed, variation between individuals of the same occupation was substantial, especially among research staff. This relatively large variability between workers with the same job suggests that exposure classification based solely on job title may not be an optimal grouping strategy for epidemiological purposes.
    Annals of Occupational Hygiene 08/2014; · 2.07 Impact Factor