Jan 10, 2012

Patient-Specific Simulations and Measurements of the Magneto-Hemodynamic Effect in Human Primary Vessels

Adamos Kyriakou, Esra Neufeld, Dominik Szczerba, Wolfgang Kainz, Roger Luechinger, Sebastien Kozerke, Robert McGregor, and Niels Kuster, Physiological Measurement, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp. 117–130, February 2012, online January 6 

The objective of this study was to determine whether the magneto-hemodynamic (MHD) response in a person exposed to the static magnetic field (B0) of a 3T MRI magnet can be used as a diagnostic marker of vascular blood flow.  MHD is the surface potential change resulting from the interaction between a strong magnetic field and charged particles in the blood. Blood flow simulations were performed based on boundary conditions derived from MRI flow measurements. The surface potential changes induced over time were obtained from simulations using a specific and thoroughly validated low-frequency electromagnetic solver, and were compared to signals measured with and ECG device. Simulations were performed on the whole-body model of a volunteer. Measurements and simulations results were in excellent agreement for all major signal characteristics. The MHD signal showed strong location dependence with highly variable yet reproducibly measurable characteristics. Additional investigations are necessary to assess its efficacy as a biomarker.

The scientific and technical impact of the study can be summarized as:

  •  A simulation platform to study MHD responses was developed and validated. It comprises segmentation and  meshing functionalities, flow and EM solvers, and methods to extract patient-specific information about  required boundary conditions from image data
  •  The MHD signal was calculated through whole-body simulations and successfully compared to  measurements
  •  The main signal characteristics showed strong position dependence and variance
  •  Further investigations are necessary to demonstrate if MHD can be practically used as a biomarker
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