Effects of anatomical differences on electromagnetic fields, SAR, and temperature change

Leeor Alon, Cem M. Deniz, Giuseppe Carluccio, Ryan Brown, Daniel K. Sodickson, Christopher M. Collins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Electromagnetic field simulations are increasingly used to assure RF safety of patients during MRI exams. In practice, however, tissue property distribution of the patient being imaged is not known, but may be represented with a pre-existing model. Repeatedly, agreement in transmit magnetic ( B1+) field distributions between two geometries has been used to suggest agreement in heating distributions. Here we examine relative effects of anatomical differences on B1+ distribution, specific absorption rate (SAR), and temperature change (ΔT). Numerical simulations were performed for a single surface coil positioned adjacent a homogeneous phantom and bovine phantom, each with slight geometric variations, and adjacent two different human body models. Experimental demonstration was performed on a bovine phantom using MR thermometry and B1+ mapping. Simulations and experiments demonstrate that B1+ distributions in different samples can be well correlated, while notable difference in maximum SAR and ΔT occur. This work illustrates challenges associated with utilizing simulations or experiments for RF safety assurance purposes. Reliance on B1+ distributions alone for validation of simulations and/or experiments with a sample or subject for assurance of safety in another should be performed with caution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)8-18
Number of pages11
JournalConcepts in Magnetic Resonance Part B: Magnetic Resonance Engineering
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016


  • Electromagnetic simulations
  • Local SAR
  • RF power deposition
  • SAR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Spectroscopy
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry


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