MR procedures: biologic effects, safety, and patient care

Radiology. 2004 Sep;232(3):635-52. doi: 10.1148/radiol.2323030830. Epub 2004 Jul 29.


The technology used for magnetic resonance (MR) procedures has evolved continuously during the past 20 years, yielding MR systems with stronger static magnetic fields, faster and stronger gradient magnetic fields, and more powerful radiofrequency transmission coils. Most reported cases of MR-related injuries and the few fatalities that have occurred have apparently been the result of failure to follow safety guidelines or of use of inappropriate or outdated information related to the safety aspects of biomedical implants and devices. To prevent accidents in the MR environment, therefore, it is necessary to revise information on biologic effects and safety according to changes that have occurred in MR technology and with regard to current guidelines for biomedical implants and devices. This review provides an overview of and update on MR biologic effects, discusses new or controversial MR safety topics and issues, presents evidence-based guidelines to ensure safety for patients and staff, and describes safety information for various implants and devices that have recently undergone evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Burns / etiology
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects
  • Eye Foreign Bodies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Muscles / radiation effects
  • Nervous System / radiation effects
  • Noise / adverse effects
  • Postoperative Period
  • Prostheses and Implants
  • Safety
  • Tattooing