Acoustic noise is inherent to magnet resonance imaging (MRI) and poses safety risks to patients and interventional radiologists. Although a spectrum of noise reduction techniques has been implemented, new developments further increase sound levels. Silent pulse sequences based on derating gradient currents have been proposed but are limited to slow pulse sequences not suitable for interventional MRI (iMRI). However, iMRI does not continuously require fast imaging with high image update rates. Therefore, the aim of this study was to develop a tool that could remotely derate the gradient currents in real time, operated by the interventionalist. The duration of the derated gradients is increased to retain image resolution [this extends imaging time and echo time (TE)]. The experiment setup consisted of a custom-built remote controller located in the interventional MR room. A fast spoiled gradient recalled echo (FSPGR) sequence was tested and acoustic recordings were made with a microphone in the magnet bore. An optical link sent data from the remote controller to a computer that was connected to a 1.5-T cardiovascular MR scanner over ethernet. A software server installed on the MR system received the requests and passed these on to the integrated pulse generator in order to control the real-time imaging. Slew rate adjustments were accomplished by calculating instruction period changes and adjusted waveform amplitudes accordingly. The experimental setup reduced the slew rate up to 16-fold, which resulted in a considerable acoustic noise reduction of 21.1 dBA. The remote controller performed well and image quality showed no substantial qualitative changes. We made use of the previously described idea of silent pulse sequence designing. Although derating is at the expense of the image refresh rate, our real-time slew rate reduction is compatible with the fact that iMRI procedures do not continuously require fast image update rates.

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Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Part B: Magnetic Resonance Engineering
Department of Radiology

Moelker, A, Vogel, M.W, & Pattynama, P.M.T. (2004). Real-time modulation of acoustic gradient noise in interventional MRI. Concepts in Magnetic Resonance Part B: Magnetic Resonance Engineering, 20(1), 34–39. doi:10.1002/cmr.b.20004