Three-dimensional brain MRI for DBS patients within ultra-low radiofrequency power limits

Subhendra N. Sarkar, Efstathios Papavassiliou, David B. Hackney, David C. Alsop, Ludy C. Shih, Ananth J. Madhuranthakam, Reed F. Busse, Susan La Ruche, Rafeeque A. Bhadelia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: For patients with deep brain stimulators (DBS), local absorbed radiofrequency (RF) power is unknown and is much higher than what the system estimates. We developed a comprehensive, high-quality brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) protocol for DBS patients utilizing three-dimensional (3D) magnetic resonance sequences at very low RF power. Methods: Six patients with DBS were imaged (10 sessions) using a transmit/receive head coil at 1.5 Tesla with modified 3D sequences within ultra-low specific absorption rate (SAR) limits (0.1 W/kg) using T2, fast fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) and T1-weighted image contrast. Tissue signal and tissue contrast from the low-SAR images were subjectively and objectively compared with routine clinical images of six age-matched controls. Results: Low-SAR images of DBS patients demonstrated tissue contrast comparable to high-SAR images and were of diagnostic quality except for slightly reduced signal. Conclusions: Although preliminary, we demonstrated diagnostic quality brain MRI with optimized, volumetric sequences in DBS patients within very conservative RF safety guidelines offering a greater safety margin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-549
Number of pages4
JournalMovement Disorders
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Conditional magnetic resonance imaging
  • Deep brain stimulation
  • Low specific absorption rate
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Radiofrequency heating

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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