Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Is high-field MRI harmful?

Although high-field MRI has been already tested in humans and considered safe to do clinical studies, there is some new evidence concerning high-field MRI. Apparently, there is a link between depression and the high-field MRI radiographers. I was very surprised by this link. The complete news is here.

My personal thought is that working with high-field MRI might cause depression, not because of the high-field itself, but because working with high-field MRI can be a constant "this is not working that well"! Imagine to work with a machine that is constantly giving problems... I would be depressed too!

I hope there is more clarification about this matter in the future. It is time that we know the long term effects of MRI fields.


  1. What would be considered 'high field' (in Tesla), are we talking functional MRI or general diagnostics

    1. Hello. Thank you for your question.

      In MRI, it is considered high-field when the magnetic field is higher than 3T. Therefore, 1, 1.5 and 3T scanners are not considered high-field MRI. Scanners with 7T, 9.4T and 11.7 are considered high-field.

      General diagnostic as well as fMRI studies can be performed in any of this scanners, including standard fields. When performing diagnostics in a high-field scanner, the patient/volunteer has to consent it. However, it was not showed any risks for patients who undergo such acquisitions. This study only shows effects on people working on a daily basis with these scanners.

      I hope I answered your doubts. Feel free to ask more!

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