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An RF-induced voltage sensor for investigating pacemaker safety in MRI

Abstract : OBJECT: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is inadvisable for patients with pacemakers, as radiofrequency (RF) voltages induced in the pacemaker leads may cause the device to malfunction. Our goal is to develop a sensor to measure such RF-induced voltages during MRI safety tests. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A sensor was designed (16.6 cm(2)) for measuring voltages at the connection between the pacemaker lead and its case. The induced voltage is demodulated, digitized, and transferred by optical fibres. The sensor was calibrated on the bench using RF pulses of known amplitude and duration. Then the sensor was tested during MRI scanning at 1.5 T in a saline gel filled phantom. RESULTS: Bench tests showed measurement errors below 5% with a (-40 V; +40 V) range, a precision of 0.06 V, and a temporal resolution of 24.2 μs. In MRI tests, variability in the measured voltages was below 3.7% for 996 measurements with different sensors and RF exposure. Coupling between the sensor and the MRI electromagnetic environment was estimated with a second sensor connected and was below 6.2%. For a typical clinical MRI sequence, voltages around ten Vp were detected. CONCLUSION: We have built an accurate and reproducible tool for measuring RF-induced voltages in pacemaker leads during MR safety investigations. The sensor might also be used with other conducting cables including those used for electrocardiography and neurostimulation.
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Thérèse Barbier, Roberto Piumatti, Bertrand Hecker, Freddy Odille, Jacques Felblinger, et al.. An RF-induced voltage sensor for investigating pacemaker safety in MRI. Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, Springer Verlag, 2014, 27 (6), pp.539 - 549. ⟨10.1007/s10334-014-0437-4⟩. ⟨hal-01726219⟩



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