Evaluation of specific absorption rate and heating in children exposed to a 7T MRI head coil

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Abstract

Purpose: To evaluate specific absorption rate (SAR) and temperature distributions resulting from pediatric exposure to a 7T head coil. Methods: Exposure from a 297-MHz birdcage head transmit coil (CP mode single-channel transmission) was simulated in several child models (ages 3–14, mass 13.9–50.4 kg) and one adult, using time-domain electromagnetic and thermal solvers. Position variability, age-related changes in dielectric properties, and differences in thermoregulation were also considered. Results: Age-adjusted dielectric properties had little effect in this population. Head average SAR (hdSAR) was the limiting factor for all models centered in the coil. The value of hdSAR (normalized to net power) was found to decrease linearly with increasing mass (R 2 = 0.86); no equivalent relationship for peak-spatial 10g averaged SAR (psSAR 10g) was identified. Relatively small (< 10%) variability was observed in hdSAR for position shifts of ±25 mm in each orthogonal direction when normalized to net power; accounting for (Formula presented.) efficiency can lead to much larger variability. Position sensitivity of psSAR 10g was greater, but in most cases hdSAR remained the limiting quantity. For thermal simulations, if blood temperature is fixed (i.e., asserting good thermoregulation), maximum temperatures are compliant with International Electrotechnical Commission limits during 60-min exposure at the SAR limit. Introducing variable blood temperature leads to core temperature changes proportional to whole-body averaged SAR, exceeding guideline limits for all child models. Conclusions: Children experienced higher SAR than adults for the 297-MHz head transmit coil examined in this work. Thermal simulations suggest that core temperature changes could occur in smaller subjects, although experimental data are needed for validation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1434-1449
Number of pages16
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Volume88
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022

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