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The Effect of Magnetic Resonance Imaging on Metal Spine Implants

LYONS, CHRISTOPHER J., MD*; BETZ, RANDAL R., MD*; MESGARZADEH, MAMED, MD; REVESZ, GEORGE, PhD; BONAKDARPOUR, AKBAR, MD; CLANCY, MICHAEL, MD*

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In Part 1 of this study, the forces and torques exerted on metallic spine implants by a 0.3-T magnetic field were evaluated using a cantilever system sensitive to forces as low as 250 mg and torques as low as 4 g/cm. Results Indicated that the 0.3-T magnification field did not cause forces or torques that could be measured within this range. It is concluded that patients with spine implants may safely undergo magnetic resonance scanning. In Part 2, the magnetic resonance scans from 33 patients (61 studies) then were reviewed to determine which, if any, parameters could be adjusted to minimize artifact. Magnetic power, slice thickness, plane of scan, and pulse sequence were considered. Plane of scan was found to be the most significant parameter in achieving useful studies, with the sagittal plane being the preferred orientation. Scans of patients who had posterior wiring were more likely to be useful, while scans of patients with spinal rods usually showed a large amount of artifact.

*From the Shriners Hospital for Crippled Children, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

†From the Department of Diagnostic Imaging, Temple University Hospital, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

© Lippincott-Raven Publishers.