Investigation of parallel radiofrequency transmission for the reduction of heating in long conductive leads in 3 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging

Clare E. McElcheran, Benson Yang, Kevan J.T. Anderson, Laleh Golenstani-Rad, Simon J. Graham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS) is increasingly used to treat a variety of brain diseases by sending electrical impulses to deep brain nuclei through long, electrically conductive leads. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of patients pre- and post-implantation is desirable to target and position the implant, to evaluate possible side-effects and to examine DBS patients who have other health conditions. Although MRI is the preferred modality for pre-operative planning, MRI post-implantation is limited due to the risk of high local power deposition, and therefore tissue heating, at the tip of the lead. The localized power deposition arises from currents induced in the leads caused by coupling with the radiofrequency (RF) transmission field during imaging. In the present work, parallel RF transmission (pTx) is used to tailor the RF electric field to suppress coupling effects. Electromagnetic simulations were performed for three pTx coil configurations with 2, 4, and 8-elements, respectively. Optimal input voltages to minimize coupling, while maintaining RF magnetic field homogeneity, were determined for all configurations using a Nelder-Mead optimization algorithm. Resulting electric and magnetic fields were compared to that of a 16-rung birdcage coil. Experimental validation was performed with a custom-built 4-element pTx coil. In simulation, 95-99% reduction of the electric field at the tip of the lead was observed between the various pTx coil configurations and the birdcage coil. Maximal reduction in E-field was obtained with the 8-element pTx coil. Magnetic field homogeneity was comparable to the birdcage coil for the 4- and 8-element pTx configurations. In experiment, a temperature increase of 2±0.15°C was observed at the tip of the wire using the birdcage coil, whereas negligible increase (0.2±0.15°C) was observed with the optimized pTx system. Although further research is required, these initial results suggest that the concept of optimizing pTx to reduce DBS heating effects holds considerable promise.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0134379
JournalPloS one
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 3 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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