Biological Effects and Safety in Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Review
2. Electromagnetic Spectrum
2.1. Static Fields
2.2. Extremely Low Frequency (ELF)
2.3. Intermediate Frequency (IF)
2.4. Radio Frequency (RF)
3. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
3.1. MRI Biological Effects
3.1.1. Effects of Static MF
- In vitro effects
- In vivo and ex vivo effects
A document of the World Health Organization (2006, ), stated that there are no evidences on the short and long term adverse effects of the MRI static MF on human health. This statement has been confirmed also more recently [16,17]. Considering the increased use of MR scanners with higher static MF values, there is an urgent need to perform studies to provide assurance about their safety.
3.1.2. Effects of Gradient MF
- In vitro effects
- In vivo and ex vivo effects
The use of MRI gradient MF represents a potential health risk beside peripheral nerve and cardiac stimulation to the patient. With the advent of the new generation of MR systems characterized by higher static MF and faster gradient fields, their effects on human health should be the object of further and properly designed studies.
3.1.3. Effects of RF Fields
- - non thermal effects: due to direct interactions between MFs and tissues
- - thermal effects: due to tissue heating caused by the induced electric currents
- In vitro effects
- In vivo and ex vivo effects
Interactions between RF and biological tissues during MR procedures could be unsafe for patients . Most of the reported accidents are burns due to hot spots in presence of conducting materials close to the patient such as the leads of physiological parameters (heart rate, blood pressure, oxygen saturation and temperature) monitoring equipment. This kind of risk can be more serious in case of internal biomedical implants (aneurism clips, stent, etc) especially for implants that have elongated configurations and/or are electronically activated (neurostimulation systems, cardiac pacemakers) [10,99,100].MRI generated RF are unlikely to be genotoxic, but unfortunately, to date no epidemiological studies are available to assess possible long term health effects due to these radiations.
3.1.4. Effects of combination of Static, Gradient and RF fields during MRI scan
3.2. Occupational Risk
4. Concluding Remarks
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© 2009 by the authors; licensee Molecular Diversity Preservation International, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open-access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).
Hartwig, V.; Giovannetti, G.; Vanello, N.; Lombardi, M.; Landini, L.; Simi, S. Biological Effects and Safety in Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Review. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2009, 6, 1778-1798. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6061778
Hartwig V, Giovannetti G, Vanello N, Lombardi M, Landini L, Simi S. Biological Effects and Safety in Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2009; 6(6):1778-1798. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6061778Chicago/Turabian Style
Hartwig, Valentina, Giulio Giovannetti, Nicola Vanello, Massimo Lombardi, Luigi Landini, and Silvana Simi. 2009. "Biological Effects and Safety in Magnetic Resonance Imaging: A Review" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 6, no. 6: 1778-1798. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph6061778