PURPOSE: Specific absorption rate (SAR) amplification around active implantable medical devices during diagnostic MRI procedures poses a potential risk for patient safety. In this study, we present a parallel transmit (pTx) strategy that can be used to safely scan patients with deep brain stimulation (DBS) implants.
METHODS: We performed electromagnetic simulations at 3T using a uniform phantom and a multitissue realistic head model with a generic DBS implant. Our strategy is based on using implant-friendly modes, which are defined as the modes of an array that reduce the local SAR around the DBS lead tip. These modes are used in a spokes pulse design algorithm in order to produce highly uniform magnitude least-squares flip angle excitations.
RESULTS: Local SAR (1 g) at the lead tip is reduced below 0.1 W/kg compared with 31.2 W/kg, which is obtained by a simple quadrature birdcage excitation without any sort of SAR mitigation. For the multitissue realistic head model, peak 10 g local SAR and global SAR are obtained as 4.52 W/kg and 0.48 W/kg, respectively. A uniform axial flip angle is also obtained (NRMSE CONCLUSION: Parallel transmit arrays can be used to generate implant-friendly modes and to reduce SAR around DBS implants while constraining peak local SAR and global SAR and maximizing flip angle homogeneity. Magn Reson Med, 2014. © 2014 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.