Numerical field evaluation of healthcare workers when bending towards high-field MRI magnets.

Research paper by H H Wang, A A Trakic, F F Liu, S S Crozier

Indexed on: 30 Jan '08Published on: 30 Jan '08Published in: Magnetic Resonance in Medicine


In MRI, healthcare workers may be exposed to strong static and dynamic magnetic fields outside of the imager. Body motion through the strong, non-uniform static magnetic field generated by the main superconducting magnet and exposure to gradient-pulsed magnetic fields can result in the induction of electric fields and current densities in the tissue. The interaction of these fields and occupational workers has attracted an increasing awareness. To protect occupational workers from overexposure, the member states of the European Union are required to incorporate the Physical Agents Directive (PAD) 2004/40/EC into their legislation. This study presents numerical evaluations of electric fields and current densities in anatomically equivalent male and female human models (healthcare workers) as they lean towards the bores of three superconducting magnet models (1.5, 4, and 7 T) and x-, y-, and z- gradient coils. The combined effect of the 1.5 T superconducting magnet and the three gradient coils on the body models is compared with the contributions of the magnet and gradient coils in separation. The simulation results indicate that it is possible to induce field quantities of physiological significance, especially when the MRI operator is bending close towards the main magnet and all three gradient coils are switched simultaneously.