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(d B/d t) Definition: The ratio between the amount of change in amplitude of the magnetic field (dB) and the time it takes to make that change (dt). Because changing magnetic fields can induce electrical fields, this is one area of potential concern for MRI safety limits.
The value of dB/dt is measured in Tesla per second (T/s).
See also Phon and Decibel.
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A Neural Mosaic Of Tones
Tuesday, 20 June 2006   by    
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MRI SafetyMRI Resource Directory:
 - Safety -
There are different types of contraindications that would prevent a person from being examined with an MRI scanner. MRI systems use strong magnetic fields that attract any ferromagnetic objects with enormous force. Caused by the potential risk of heating, produced from the radio frequency pulses during the MRI procedure, metallic objects like wires, foreign bodies and other implants needs to be checked for compatibility. High field MRI requires particular safety precautions. In addition, any device or MRI equipment that enters the magnet room has to be MR compatible. MRI examinations are safe and harmless, if these MRI risks are observed and regulations are followed.

Safety concerns in magnetic resonance imaging include:
the magnetic field strength;
possible 'missile effects' caused by magnetic forces;
the potential for heating of body tissue due to the application of the radio frequency energy;
the effects on implanted active devices such as cardiac pacemakers or insulin pumps;
magnetic torque effects on indwelling metal (clips, etc.);
the audible acoustic noise;
danger due to cryogenic liquids;
the application of contrast medium;

MRI Safety Guidance
It is important to remember when working around a superconducting magnet that the magnetic field is always on. Under usual working conditions the field is never turned off. Attention must be paid to keep all ferromagnetic items at an adequate distance from the magnet. Ferromagnetic objects which came accidentally under the influence of these strong magnets can injure or kill individuals in or nearby the magnet, or can seriously damage every hardware, the magnet itself, the cooling system, etc.. See MRI resources Accidents.
The doors leading to a magnet room should be closed at all times except when entering or exiting the room. Every person working in or entering the magnet room or adjacent rooms with a magnetic field has to be instructed about the dangers. This should include the patient, intensive-care staff, and maintenance-, service- and cleaning personnel, etc..
The 5 Gauss limit defines the 'safe' level of static magnetic field exposure. The value of the absorbed dose is fixed by the authorities to avoid heating of the patient's tissue and is defined by the specific absorption rate. Leads or wires that are used in the magnet bore during imaging procedures, should not form large-radius wire loops. Leg-to-leg and leg-to-arm skin contact should be prevented in order to avoid the risk of burning due to the generation of high current loops if the legs or arms are allowed to touch. The patient's skin should not be in contact with the inner bore of the magnet.
The outflow from cryogens like liquid helium is improbable during normal operation and not a real danger for patients.
The safety of MRI contrast agents is tested in drug trials and they have a high compatibility with very few side effects. The variations of the side effects and possible contraindications are similar to X-ray contrast medium, but very rare. In general, an adverse reaction increases with the quantity of the MRI contrast medium and also with the osmolarity of the compound.
See also 5 Gauss Fringe Field, 5 Gauss Line, Cardiac Risks, Cardiac Stent, dB/dt, Legal Requirements, Low Field MRI, Magnetohydrodynamic Effect, MR Compatibility, MR Guided Interventions, Claustrophobia, MRI Risks and Shielding.
Radiology-tip.comRadiation Safety,  Ionizing Radiation
Radiology-tip.comUltrasound Safety,  Absorbed Dose

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Further Reading:
MRI Safety
2001   by    
What MRI Sequences Produce the Highest Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), and Is There Something We Should Be Doing to Reduce the SAR During Standard Examinations?
Thursday, 16 April 2015   by    
Contrast Agents: Safety Profile
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Implantable Infusion Pumps in the Magnetic Resonance (MR) Environment: FDA Safety Communication - Important Safety Precautions
Wednesday, 11 January 2017   by    
Newer Heart Devices Safe During MRI
Monday, 23 August 2004   by    
FDA Releases New Guidance On Establishing Safety, Compatibility Of Passive Implants In MR Environments
Tuesday, 16 December 2014   by    
Modern Implantable Heart Devices Safe For Use In MRI Scans
Wednesday, 16 March 2005   by    
MRI Resources 
Fluorescence - Claustrophobia - Guidance - Research Labs - Patient Information - MRI Technician and Technologist Career
Nerve Conductivity
Rapid echo planar imaging and high-performance MRI gradient systems create fast-switching magnetic fields that can stimulate muscle and nerve tissues produced by either changing the electrical resistance or the potential of the excitation. There are apparently no effects on the conduction of impulses in the nerve fiber up to field strength of 0.1 T. A preliminary study has indicated neurological effects by exposition to a whole body imager at 4.0 T. Theoretical examinations argue that field strengths of 24 T are required to produce a 10% reduction of nerve impulse conduction velocity.
Nerve stimulations during MRI scans can be induced by very rapid changes of the magnetic field. This stimulation may occur for example during diffusion weighted sequences or diffusion tensor imaging and can result in muscle contractions caused by effecting motor nerves. The so-called magnetic phosphenes are attributed to magnetic field variations and may occur in a threshold field change of between 2 and 5 T/s. Phosphenes are stimulations of the optic nerve or the retina, producing a flashing light sensation in the eyes. They seem not to cause any damage in the eye or the nerve.
Varying magnetic fields are also used to stimulate bone-healing in non-unions and pseudarthroses. The reasons why pulsed magnetic fields support bone-healing are not completely understood. The mean threshold levels for various stimulations are 3 600 T/s for the heart, 900 T/s for the respiratory system, and 60 T/s for the peripheral nerves.
Guidelines in the United States limit switching rates at a factor of three below the mean threshold for peripheral nerve stimulation. In the event that changes in nerve conductivity happens, the MRI scan parameters should be adjusted to reduce dB/dt for nerve stimulation.

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Further Reading:
Electrical eddy currents in the human body: MRI scans and medical implants
  News & More:
Tuesday, 18 January 2005   by    
Conductivity tensor mapping of the human brain using diffusion tensor MRI
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