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J Magn Reson Imaging. 2001 Feb;13(2):288-93.

Investigation of acoustic noise on 15 MRI scanners from 0.2 T to 3 T.

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MagNET, Department of Electrical Engineering, Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London.


Acoustic noise levels for fast MRI pulse sequences were surveyed on 14 systems with field strengths ranging from 0.2 T to 3 T. A microphone insensitive to the magnetic environment was placed close to the magnet isocenter and connected via an extension cable to a sound level meter outside the scan room. Measured noise levels varied from 82.5 +/- 0.1 dB(A) for a 0.23 T system to 118.4 +/- 1.3 dB(A) for a 3 T system. Further measurements on four of the closed-bore systems surveyed showed that: 1) pulse sequence parameters (particularly FOV and TR) were more influential in determining noise level than field strength, 2) the noise level was found to vary along the z-direction with a maximum near the bore entrance, and 3) in one of two systems tested there was a significant increase in noise with a volunteer present instead of a test object. The results underline the importance of hearing protection for patients and for staff spending extended periods in the scan room.

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