School of MRI > Courses 2018 > MR Safety
MR Safety

October 18-20, 2018

Course organiser:
Siegfried Trattnig

Local organiser:
Martin Krssak, Vienna/AT

Course Venue:
Medical University of Vienna
Department of Biomedical Imaging and Image-guided Therapy
Währinger Gürtel 18-20
1090 Vienna

Preliminary Faculty:

D. Beitzke, K. Bräuner, J. Felblinger, L. Hanson, A. Jones, M. Krššák, A. Melzer, N. Oberhofer, G. Schaefers, F. Schick,
H. Thomsen, S. Trattnig

This course is limited to 35 participants!


Course duration:
Thursday morning – Saturday noon

The aim of this course:

The aim of the course is to provide a systematic overview of the risks connected to superconductive clinical MR systems. It will cover both patient safety and personnel safety. The potential hazards related to the 3 different electromagnetic fi elds used in MR (the static magnetic fi eld, the switched gradient field and RF field) will be presented and experienced in practical sessions. Another important aspect are the standards of MR Safety and compatibility testing in active as well as non-active implants, with a focus on a training in clinical strategies how to handle implant safety issues in the MR environment, enhance patients safety and improve the MR workfl ow in daily routine. Special aspects such as cardio-vascular implants and MR Safety issues in interventional MR will be presented, too. The most recent developments and risks of Gadodolinium-based MR contrast agents will be covered. Additionally an introduction to risk management in clinical and experimental MR systems (3 and 7T) will be given. The course will provide a combination of lectures and practical training sessions in smaller groups.

Participation requirements:

The target group can be subdivided into the following two
  • Health care personnel: radiologist, radiological technologist, physician, ongoing MR safety expert and Safety Officer, occupational physician
  • Other personnel: medical physicists, MR researcher, hospital safety manager, maintenance manager

Learning Objectives

Introduction to construction and function of MRI scanner

  • Update on MR scanner components
  • Update on MR basics
A systematic overview on MR interactions with magnetic and electrically conductive materials
  • Characteristics of the static magnetic field inside and around a clinical MR system
  • Forces and torques acting on magnetic materials in static magnetic fields
  • Characteristics of the radiofrequency electromagnetic transmitter fi eld and of the gradient field
  • Induction of electrical currents by time varying electrical and magnetic RF fi elds in conductive structures and tissue

Risks in MRI I: Static Bo field, dangers due to superconductors

  • Value and effects of the static magnetic fi eld around the magnet
  • Exposure limits for static magnetic fi elds
  • Potential risks for human exposure to static magnetic fi elds
  • Dependence of physiologic effects on relevant parameters of the static magnetic fi eld
  • Potential risks of superconducting magnets and helium leakage

Risks in MRI II: MR gradients and RF

  • Exposure limits for low frequency gradient fi elds
  • Potential risks for humans with gradient fi elds
  • Exposure limits for high frequency RF fi elds
  • Potential risks of high frequency RF fi elds
  • Dependency of SAR from the static magnetic field

Implant Testing and Safety Considerations

  • Active defi nitions of MR Safety and terms
  • Standards of MR Safety and compatibility testing
  • Presentation of standard test methods
  • Simulation of RF heating using human models
  • MR Labelling of active and non-active implants with respect to static magnetic and switched gradient magnetic fields and RF-Fields

MR-safety considerations in a clinical environment

  • How to prepare the patient for the MR examination
  • To learn about the impact of different implants on clinical MRI
  • To understand the patient related MR safety issues without implants (burning incidents)
  • To be aware of emergency situations in the scanner room

Implant problems and optimisation. Researching implants

  • Impact of implants on clinical MRI and fi nancial consequences
  • Strategies of improvement, workfl ow
  • Effective research of MRI-conditions of implants
  • Fixed Parameter mode

Cardiovascular implants and cardiac pacemarkers in MRI

  • Risks and subsequent limitations of MR imaging after stents and stent graft implantation
  • The risks of conventional ,´old´cardiac pacemarker implantation
  • Newest guidelines of MR safety after stent and pacemaker implantation

MR Safety issue in Interventional MR

  • Principles of Interventional MRI and intraoperative MRI
  • Potential risks for clinicians and patients
  • Technical requirements for safe Interventional MRI and intraoperative MRI
  • Limitations of visualisation and tracking of interventional devices
  • How to avoid reaching exposure limits during interventions
  • Examples from clinical and pre-clinical studies

Contrast agents

  • Chemical caracteristics of Gd chelates
  • Risks of Nephrogenic Systemic Fibrosis
  • Evaluation of renal function
  • Allergic reactions with Gd chelates
  • tissue specific Gd deposition

EU Directive and MR worker training

  • MRI in the context of European health and safety legislation
  • Existing national and international EMF exposure guidelines and standards
  • EC standard 60601-2-33
  • The Physical Agents (EMF) Directive: state of play and possible future developments

Risk management in MR
Risk assessment
Instruments for risk management (reporting, root cause analysis,…)
Strategies for risk reduction in MR
Considerations regarding ferromagnetic detectors and the commitment to a ferrous-free MR environment

Practical Session I
System-related MR Safety (7 Tesla)

The goal is to give the participants a hands-on experience of the potentially dangerous interactions of metallic objects
with the intense static magnetic field: inspection of the safety precautions of the MR site and MR-related alarms, the controlled access zone, experience with attraction forces and torque (ferromagnetic objects) and effect of Lenz law
(all metalic objects) due to the static magnetic fringe field, movement of “MR compatible” ear prosthesis; practical issues with ferromagnetic detectors, practical aspects related to maintenance and cleaning staff.

Practical Session II
Patient-related MR Safety (3 Tesla)
This session is focused on safe patient handling in MR:, patient interview and correct MR clothing; patient screening for metal objects and implants; examination of anaesthetized patients; handling metal objects and appropriate labelling of necessary equipment in the MR environment; patient positioning: how to avoid RF-burns, hearing protection, patient communication and alarm system; ambient emergency situations including fire and quench; management of accompanying person/parents; patient form and informed consent, patient emergency; issues related to RF stimulation, PNS and 1st controlled operation mode.

Practical session III
RF heating

Participants will experience the RF heating issue with an experiment. The goal is to understand the parameter complexity
related to SAR and to know the necessities for interpretation of the RF part of the MR labelling of devices/items.


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