Daniel Ennis, Postdoctoral Faculty Sponsor
Neurological disorders are increasingly analysed and treated with implantable electrodes, and patients with such electrodes are studied with MRI despite the risk of radio-frequency (RF) induced heating during the MRI exam. Recent clinical research suggests that electrodes with smaller diameters of the electrical interface between implant and tissue are beneficial; however, the influence of this electrode contact diameter on RF-induced heating has not been investigated. In this work, electrode contact diameters between 0.3 and 4 mm of implantable electrodes appropriate for stimulation and electrocorticography were evaluated in a 1.5 T MRI system. In situ temperature measurements adapted from the ASTM standard test method were performed and complemented by simulations of the specific absorption rate (SAR) to assess local SAR values, temperature increase and the distribution of dissipated power. Measurements showed temperature changes between 0.8 K and 53 K for different electrode contact diameters, which is well above the legal limit of 1 K. Systematic errors in the temperature measurements are to be expected, as the temperature sensors may disturb the heating pattern near small electrodes. Compared to large electrodes, simulations suggest that small electrodes are subject to less dissipated power, but more localized power density. Thus, smaller electrodes might be classified as safe in current certification procedures but may be more likely to burn adjacent tissue. To assess these local heating phenomena, smaller temperature sensors or new non-invasive temperature sensing methods are needed.
View details for PubMedID 30935911