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Bioelectromagnetics. 2004 May;25(4):285-95.

Metallic electrodes and leads in simultaneous EEG-MRI: specific absorption rate (SAR) simulation studies.

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  • 1MGH/MIT/HMS Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Functional Imaging, Charlestown, Massachusetts 02129, USA.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the changes in specific absorption rate (SAR) in human-head tissues while using nonmagnetic metallic electroencephalography (EEG) electrodes and leads during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). A realistic, high resolution (1 mm(3)) head model from individual MRI data was adopted to describe accurately thin tissues, such as bone marrow and skin. The RF power dissipated in the human head was evaluated using the FDTD algorithm. Both surface and bird cage coils were used. The following numbers of EEG electrodes/leads were considered: 16, 31, 62, and 124. Simulations were performed at 128 and 300 MHz. The difference in SAR between the electrodes/leads and no-electrodes conditions was greater with the bird cage coil than with the surface coil. The peak 1 g averaged SAR values were highest at 124 electrodes, increasing to as much as two orders of magnitude (x172.3) at 300 MHz compared to the original value. At 300 MHz, there was a fourfold (x3.6) increase of SAR averaged over the bone marrow, and a sevenfold (x7.4) increase in the skin. At 128 MHz, there was a fivefold (x5.6) increase of whole head SAR. Head models were obtained from two different subjects, with an inter-subject whole head SAR variability of 3%. .

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