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Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2011;89(3):131-40. doi: 10.1159/000324906. Epub 2011 Apr 13.

MRI-related heating near deep brain stimulation electrodes: more data are needed.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.


Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of patients with implanted deep brain stimulation (DBS) devices poses a challenge for healthcare providers. As a consequence of safety concerns about magnetic field interactions with the device, induced electrical currents and thermal damage due to radiofrequency heating, a number of stringent guidelines have been proposed by the device manufacturer. Very few detailed investigations of these safety issues have been published to date, and the stringent manufacturer guidelines have gone unchallenged, leading some hospitals and imaging centers around the world to ban or restrict the use of MRI in DBS patients. The purpose of this review is to stimulate research towards defining appropriate guidelines for the use of MRI in patients with DBS. Additionally, this review is intended to help healthcare providers and researchers make sound clinical judgments about the use of MRI in the setting of implanted DBS devices.

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