Neurobehavioral effects among subjects exposed to high static and gradient magnetic fields from a 1.5 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging system--a case-crossover pilot study

Magn Reson Med. 2003 Oct;50(4):670-4. doi: 10.1002/mrm.10604.


The interactive use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques is increasing in operating theaters. A study was performed on 17 male company volunteers to assess the neurobehavioral effects of exposure to magnetic fields from a 1.5 Tesla MRI system. The subjects' neurobehavioral performances on a neurobehavioral test battery were compared in four 1-hr sessions with and without exposure to magnetic fields, and with and without additional movements. Adverse effects were found for hand coordination (-4%, P < 0.05; Pursuit Aiming II) and near visual contrast sensitivity (-16% and -15%, P < 0.10; Vistech 6000). The results from the remaining tests were inconclusive due to a strong learning effect. No additional effect from gradient fields was detected. The results indicate that working near a 1.5 Tesla MRI system may lead to neurobehavioral effects. Further research is recommended, especially in members of operating teams using interactive MRI systems.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging* / instrumentation
  • Magnetics*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Operating Rooms