Modeling of radio-frequency induced currents on lead wires during MR imaging using a modified transmission line method
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Purpose: Metallic implants may cause serious tissue heating during magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. This heating occurs due to the induced currents caused by the radio-frequency (RF) field. Much work has been done to date to understand the relationship between the RF field and the induced currents. Most of these studies, however, were based purely on experimental or numerical methods. This study has three main purposes: (1) to define the RF heating properties of an implant lead using two parameters; (2) to develop an analytical formulation that directly explains the relationship between RF fields and induced currents; and (3) to form a basis for analysis of complex cases. Methods: In this study, a lumped element model of the transmission line was modified to model leads of implants inside the body. Using this model, leads are defined using two parameters: impedance per unit length, Z, and effective wavenumber along the lead, k t. These two parameters were obtained by using methods that are similar to the transmission line theory. As long as these parameters are known for a lead, currents induced in the lead can be obtained no matter how complex the lead geometry is. The currents induced in bare wire, lossy wire, and insulated wire were calculated using this new method which is called the modified transmission line method or MoTLiM. First, the calculated induced currents under uniform electric field distribution were solved and compared with method-of-moments (MoM) calculations. In addition, MoTLiM results were compared with those of phantom experiments. For experimental verification, the flip angle distortion due to the induced currents was used. The flip angle distribution around a wire was both measured by using flip angle imaging methods and calculated using current distribution obtained from the MoTLiM. Finally, these results were compared and an error analysis was carried out. Results: Bare perfect electric, bare lossy, and insulated perfect electric conductor wires under uniform and linearly varying electric field exposure were solved, both for 1.5 T and 3 T scanners, using both the MoTLiM and MoM. The results are in agreement within 10 mean-square error. The flip angle distribution that was obtained from experiments was compared along the azimuthal paths with different distances from the wire. The highest mean-square error was 20 among compared cases. Conclusions: A novel method was developed to define the RF heating properties of implant leads with two parameters and analyze the induced currents on implant leads that are exposed to electromagnetic fields in a lossy medium during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Some simple cases are examined to explain the MoTLiM and a basis is formed for the analysis of complex cases. The method presented shows the direct relationship between the incident RF field and the induced currents. In addition, the MoTLiM reveals the RF heating properties of the implant leads in terms of the physical features of the lead and electrical properties of the medium.