Evaluation of MRI compatibility of the modified nucleus multichannel auditory brainstem and cochlear implants.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been contraindicated for users of cochlear implants because of the internal magnet and other possible interactions. Users of the Nucleus Mini-22 Cochlear Implant (CI) or the experimental Multichannel Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) may have other disorders that are best diagnosed by MRI. The CI and ABI were modified by replacing the internal magnet and integrated circuit lid with nonmagnetic material. Tests were conducted in a 1.5-T MRI machine. Safety tests for force, heating, induced current, unintentional implant output, and implant damage were conducted by using various phantom models. Image distortion was evaluated in two subjects with implants. The maximum force measured was 2,818 dynes. There was < 0.1 degree C temperature increase in the vicinity of the implant. The maximum induced charge was > or = 667 times less than the minimum charge for auditory stimulation. There was no unintentional output during MRI scans and no change in implant function after 10 repeated scans. Image distortion consisted primarily of darkening and was worst in the axial plane, where it extended 1-2 cm medially and inferiorly from the receiver/stimulator. Compatibility-test results were acceptable, with a large margin of safety. Image distortion is limited to darkening in the immediate vicinity of the implant.
Heller, JW; Brackmann, DE; Tucci, DL; Nyenhuis, JA; Chou, CK
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