|Vibrations of the gradient coil support structure create sound waves. These are caused by the interactions of the magnetic field created by pulses of the current through the gradient coil with the main magnetic field in a manner similar to a loudspeaker coil. The sounds made by the scanner vary in volume and tone with the type of procedure being performed.|
Sound pressure is reported on a logarithmic scale called sound-pressure level, expressed in decibel (dB) referenced to the weakest audible 1 000 Hz sound pressure of 2*10-5 pascal (20 micropascal). Sound level meters contain filters that simulate the ear's frequency response. The most commonly used filter provides what is called 'A' weighting, with the letter 'A' appended to the dB units, i.e. dBA.
MRI system noise levels increase with field strength.
Disposable earplugs and/or headphones for the patient are recommended in high-field systems. Noise-canceling systems and special earphones are available, and active acoustic control systems were developed, e.g. softtone, pianissimo. A sequence with low noise gradient pulses is also called 'whisper sequence'.
See also Phon and Decibel.
• View the DATABASE results for 'Acoustic Noise' (9).
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