Setups were constructed to measure displacement forces in a permanent magnet-based Halbach array used for in vivo MRI at 50 mT, and results compared with measurements at 7 T. Image artifacts were assessed using turbo (fast) spin echo imaging sequences for four different passive medical implants: a septal occluder, iliac stent, pedicle screw and (ferromagnetic) endoscopic clip. Comparisons were made with artifacts produced at 1.5, 3 and 7 T. Finally, specific absorption rate (SAR) simulations were performed to determine under what operating conditions the limits might be approached at low-field.
Displacement forces at 50 mT on all but the ferromagnetic implant were between 1 and 10 mN. Image artifacts at 50 mT were much less than at clinical field strengths for all passive devices, and with the exception of the ferromagnetic clip. SAR simulations show that very long echo train (>128) turbo spin echo sequences can be run with short inter-pulse times (5-10 ms) within SAR limits.
This work presents the first evaluation of the effects of passive implants at field strengths less than 100 mT in terms of displacement forces, image artifacts and SAR. The results support previous claims that such systems can be used safely and usefully in challenging enviroments such as the intensive care unit.
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