Safety of EEG-fMRI recordings in newborn infants at 3T: a study using a baby-size phantom

Vanhatalo, Sampsa, Alnajjar, Aiman, Nguyen, Vinh T., Colditz, Paul and Fransson, Peter (2014) Safety of EEG-fMRI recordings in newborn infants at 3T: a study using a baby-size phantom. Clinical Neurophysiology, 125 5: 941-946. doi:10.1016/j.clinph.2013.09.041

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Author Vanhatalo, Sampsa
Alnajjar, Aiman
Nguyen, Vinh T.
Colditz, Paul
Fransson, Peter
Title Safety of EEG-fMRI recordings in newborn infants at 3T: a study using a baby-size phantom
Journal name Clinical Neurophysiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1388-2457
Publication date 2014-05-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.clinph.2013.09.041
Open Access Status
Volume 125
Issue 5
Start page 941
End page 946
Total pages 6
Place of publication E. Park, Shannon, Co. Clare, Ireland
Publisher Elsevier Ireland
Language eng
Formatted abstract
• Concerns of possible electrode warming have precluded EEG–fMRI co-registrations in human neonates.
• Our safety study, using a wide range of fMRI sequences, shows no unacceptable rise in electrode temperatures during fMRI and structural T1 sequences.
• The present findings with a real-size phantom open up a possibility to carry out the first EEG–fMRI recordings in human neonates.

Objective We aimed to study EEG electrode temperatures during MRI recordings using a neonatal-size phantom to establish the safety of neonatal EEG–MRI.

Methods We constructed a phantom set-up for co-registration of EEG and MRI measurements with newborn size configurations. The set-up consisted of a spherical glass phantom fitted with a customised MRI-compatible 64-channel EEG cap and EEG amplifier. Temperatures were recorded during and after five different scanning sequences (two T2∗ sensitised BOLD fMRI, one T1-weighted and two T2-weighted spin echo) in five electrode locations using a thermistor that was integrated into the electrode housing. A temperature increase >4 °C was defined a priori as the safety limit.

Results During fMRI and T1 sequences, none of the electrodes showed meaningful temperature changes. Only one MRI sequence (T2 with Max turbo factor 25; SAR 89%) caused temperature increase in one electrode (Fpz; +4.1 °C) that slightly exceeded our predefined safety limit, while the conventional T2 sequence was within safety limits (up to +1.7 °C).

Conclusions Co-registration of EEG and fMRI can be considered safe in babies with respect to electrode heating, which is the primary safety concern.

Significance The present findings open up a possibility to commence studies where EEG and MRI/fMRI are co-registered in human babies. Such studies hold significant promise of a better understanding of the early development of brain function and neurovascular coupling.
Keyword fMRI–EEG co-registration
High-density EEG
Resting state networks
Neonatal neurophysiology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Published online 16 November 2013

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Created: Wed, 11 Dec 2013, 22:51:10 EST by Roheen Gill on behalf of UQ Centre for Clinical Research