Investigation of acoustic noise on 15 MRI scanners from 0.2 T to 3 T

J Magn Reson Imaging. 2001 Feb;13(2):288-93. doi: 10.1002/1522-2586(200102)13:2<288::aid-jmri1041>;2-p.


Acoustic noise levels for fast MRI pulse sequences were surveyed on 14 systems with field strengths ranging from 0.2 T to 3 T. A microphone insensitive to the magnetic environment was placed close to the magnet isocenter and connected via an extension cable to a sound level meter outside the scan room. Measured noise levels varied from 82.5 +/- 0.1 dB(A) for a 0.23 T system to 118.4 +/- 1.3 dB(A) for a 3 T system. Further measurements on four of the closed-bore systems surveyed showed that: 1) pulse sequence parameters (particularly FOV and TR) were more influential in determining noise level than field strength, 2) the noise level was found to vary along the z-direction with a maximum near the bore entrance, and 3) in one of two systems tested there was a significant increase in noise with a volunteer present instead of a test object. The results underline the importance of hearing protection for patients and for staff spending extended periods in the scan room.

MeSH terms

  • Ear Protective Devices
  • Equipment Safety
  • Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Noise* / adverse effects
  • Occupational Diseases / prevention & control
  • Risk Assessment
  • Sound Spectrography*