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Safety Assessment of the Operation of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) System at 37 Military Hospital using the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) Levels

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Author(s): R. Otchere Mintah | C. Schandorf | J.H. Amuasi

Journal: Asian Journal of Medical Sciences
ISSN 2040-8765

Volume: 3;
Issue: 3;
Start page: 91;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) | Magnetic Resonance Imaging | USFDA | T1W_SE sagittal PH | T1W_SE Tra_PH | T1W_TSE axial | T2W_TSE axial protocol

ABSTRACT
In this present study, the Safety Assessment of the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR) levels of the operation of the Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) System at 37 Military Hospital was done. The main aim of this research work was to verify whether all the specific physical parameters (a strong magnetic field, rapidchanging magnetic field gradients, and RF energy) as expressed in terms of SARs in the MR system are within the established limits set by the United States Food and Drugs Administrations (USFDA) and other international organizations. Protocols were developed to assess the radiological health and safety impact of some selected MR imaging procedures on patients. The parameter considered to be assessed was; Specific Absorption Rate (SAR); temperature rise in the body. The Smart brain and Routine lumbar Spine examination cards specific to brain and lumbar spine anatomy techniques were used. For brain examinations the T1W_SE sagittal PH, and the T1W_SE Tra_PH protocols gave the highest SAR values with a mean value 1.6 W/kg for 3 minutes. For the lumbar spine examinations, the T1W_TSE axial protocols exposed patients to the highest consistent SAR value of 2.8 W/kg. The T2W_TSE axial protocol gave the highest SAR value of 3.8 W/kg with a mean value of 3.1 W/kg with the highest exposure time of 4 min with a mean of 2.5 min. These SAR values were within the limits recommended by the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA). To optimize patient safety, local guidelines for safety assessment were developed which include; in house screening with a metal detector, filling in the screening form and ensuring that safety requirements are met before entering the MR room. The choice of protocols that minimize SAR values and strict compliance to safety protocols developed at the MRI facility therefore should be followed and continuously updated to achieve maximum safety for patient in and around an MRI facility.
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