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PLoS By Category | Recent PLoS Articles
Biotechnology - Physics - Radiology and Medical Imaging

Detailing Radio Frequency Heating Induced by Coronary Stents: A 7.0 Tesla Magnetic Resonance Study
Published: Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Author: Davide Santoro et al.

by Davide Santoro, Lukas Winter, Alexander Müller, Julia Vogt, Wolfgang Renz, Celal Özerdem, Andreas Grässl, Valeriy Tkachenko, Jeanette Schulz-Menger, Thoralf Niendorf

The sensitivity gain of ultrahigh field Magnetic Resonance (UHF-MR) holds the promise to enhance spatial and temporal resolution. Such improvements could be beneficial for cardiovascular MR. However, intracoronary stents used for treatment of coronary artery disease are currently considered to be contra-indications for UHF-MR. The antenna effect induced by a stent together with RF wavelength shortening could increase local radiofrequency (RF) power deposition at 7.0 T and bears the potential to induce local heating, which might cause tissue damage. Realizing these constraints, this work examines RF heating effects of stents using electro-magnetic field (EMF) simulations and phantoms with properties that mimic myocardium. For this purpose, RF power deposition that exceeds the clinical limits was induced by a dedicated birdcage coil. Fiber optic probes and MR thermometry were applied for temperature monitoring using agarose phantoms containing copper tubes or coronary stents. The results demonstrate an agreement between RF heating induced temperature changes derived from EMF simulations versus MR thermometry. The birdcage coil tailored for RF heating was capable of irradiating power exceeding the specific-absorption rate (SAR) limits defined by the IEC guidelines by a factor of three. This setup afforded RF induced temperature changes up to +27 K in a reference phantom. The maximum extra temperature increase, induced by a copper tube or a coronary stent was less than 3 K. The coronary stents examined showed an RF heating behavior similar to a copper tube. Our results suggest that, if IEC guidelines for local/global SAR are followed, the extra RF heating induced in myocardial tissue by stents may not be significant versus the baseline heating induced by the energy deposited by a tailored cardiac transmit RF coil at 7.0 T, and may be smaller if not insignificant than the extra RF heating observed under the circumstances used in this study.
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