Chronic Exposure to Static Magnetic Fields from Magnetic Resonance Imaging Devices Deserves Screening for Osteoporosis and Vitamin D Levels: A Rat Model

Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2015 Jul 30;12(8):8919-32. doi: 10.3390/ijerph120808919.


Technicians often receive chronic magnetic exposures from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) devices, mainly due to static magnetic fields (SMFs). Here, we ascertain the biological effects of chronic exposure to SMFs from MRI devices on the bone quality using rats exposed to SMFs in MRI examining rooms. Eighteen Wistar albino male rats were randomly assigned to SMF exposure (A), sham (B), and control (C) groups. Group A rats were positioned within 50 centimeters of the bore of the magnet of 1.5 T MRI machine during the nighttime for 8 weeks. We collected blood samples for biochemical analysis, and bone tissue samples for electron microscopic and histological analysis. The mean vitamin D level in Group A was lower than in the other groups (p = 0.002). The mean cortical thickness, the mean trabecular wall thickness, and number of trabeculae per 1 mm2 were significantly lower in Group A (p = 0.003). TUNEL assay revealed that apoptosis of osteocytes were significantly greater in Group A than the other groups (p = 0.005). The effect of SMFs in chronic exposure is related to movement within the magnetic field that induces low-frequency fields within the tissues. These fields can exceed the exposure limits necessary to deteriorate bone microstructure and vitamin D metabolism.

Keywords: Static magnetic field; bone; chronic exposure; magnetic resonance imaging; osteoporosis; vitamin D.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Magnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Osteoporosis / diagnosis
  • Osteoporosis / etiology*
  • Random Allocation
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diagnosis
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / etiology*