The need for better signal-to-noise ratios and resolution has pushed magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) towards high-field MR-scanners for which only little data on MR-related acoustic noise production have been published. The purpose of this study was to validate the theoretical relationship of sound pressure level (SPL) and static magnetic field strength. This is relevant for allowing adequate comparisons of acoustic data of MR systems at various magnetic field strengths. Acoustic data were acquired during various pulse sequences at field strengths of 0.5, 1.0, 1.5 and 2.0 Tesla using the same MRI unit by means of a Helicon rampable magnet. Continuous-equivalent, i.e. time-averaged, linear SPLs and 1/3-octave band frequencies were recorded. Ramping from 0.5 to 1.0 Tesla and from 1.0 to 2.0 Tesla resulted in an SPL increase of 5.7 and 5.2 dB(L), respectively, when averaged over the various pulse sequences. Most of the acoustic energy was in the 1-kHz frequency band, irrespective of magnetic field strength. The relation between field strength and SPL was slightly non-linear, i.e. a slightly less increase at higher field strengths, presumably caused by the elastic properties of the gradient coil encasings.

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Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine
Department of Radiology

Moelker, A, Wielopolski, P.A, & Pattynama, P.M.T. (2003). Relatioship between magnetic field strength and magnetic-resonance-related acoustic noise levels. Magnetic Resonance Materials in Physics, Biology and Medicine, 16(1), 52–55. doi:10.1007/s10334-003-0005-9