Biological effects and safety in magnetic resonance imaging: a review

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2009 Jun;6(6):1778-98. doi: 10.3390/ijerph6061778. Epub 2009 Jun 10.


Since the introduction of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as a diagnostic technique, the number of people exposed to electromagnetic fields (EMF) has increased dramatically. In this review, based on the results of a pioneer study showing in vitro and in vivo genotoxic effects of MRI scans, we report an updated survey about the effects of non-ionizing EMF employed in MRI, relevant for patients' and workers' safety. While the whole data does not confirm a risk hypothesis, it suggests a need for further studies and prudent use in order to avoid unnecessary examinations, according to the precautionary principle.

Keywords: MRI safety; Magnetic Resonance Imaging; electromagnetic fields; genotoxic effects.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects*
  • Mutation*
  • Safety*