Thermal injuries associated with MRI

Clin Radiol. 2001 Jun;56(6):457-65. doi: 10.1053/crad.2000.0688.


Most physicians are aware of the absolute contraindications to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). However, less familiar is the potential for an MRI-induced thermal or electrical burn associated with electrical monitoring devices. Although detailed studies concerning the burn hazard in MRI have not been reported, it is widely believed that direct electromagnetic induction in looped cables associated with the patient is responsible for the excessive heating and it is on this theory that present guidelines are based. Recent reports have however indicated that other mechanisms may cause the heating of metal, either in or on the patient. This document reviews numerous reported burn injuries sustained during MRI and addresses the underlying heating mechanisms possibly causing these events.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Burns / etiology*
  • Burns, Electric / etiology
  • Electrocardiography / adverse effects
  • Equipment Safety / statistics & numerical data
  • Hot Temperature / adverse effects
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation
  • Oximetry / adverse effects