Peripheral nerve stimulation properties of head and body gradient coils of various sizes

Magn Reson Med. 2003 Jul;50(1):50-8. doi: 10.1002/mrm.10508.


Peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) caused by time-varying magnetic fields has been studied both theoretically and experimentally. A human volunteer study performed on three different body-size gradient coils and one head-size gradient coil is presented in this work. The experimental results were used to generate average PNS threshold parameters for the tested gradient systems. It was found that the average stimulation threshold increases while gradient-region-of-uniformity size decreases. In addition, linear relationships between PNS parameters and diameter of homogeneous gradient spherical volume (DSV) were discovered: SR(min) and DeltaG(min) both vary inverse linearly with DSV. More importantly, the chronaxie value was found to vary inversely linearly with the DSV. This finding indicates that, contrary to the general understanding, the parameter "chronaxie" in the commonly accepted simple stimulation models cannot be considered to be a single-value, nerve-specific constant. A modified linear model for gradient-induced PNS based on these results was developed, which may permit, for the first time, the general prediction of nerve stimulation properties for gradient coils of arbitrary linear region dimension.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Electric Stimulation*
  • Electromagnetic Fields*
  • Equipment Failure Analysis / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / instrumentation*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / etiology
  • Pain / prevention & control
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain Threshold / physiology*
  • Pain Threshold / radiation effects*
  • Peripheral Nerves / physiopathology*
  • Peripheral Nerves / radiation effects*