Purpose: A purely experimental method for MRI-based transfer function (TF) determination is presented. A TF characterizes the potential for radiofrequency heating of a linear implant by relating the incident tangential electric field to a scattered electric field at its tip. We utilize the previously introduced transfer matrix (TM) to determine transfer functions solely from the MR measurable quantities, that is, the (Formula presented.) and transceive phase distributions. This technique can extend the current practice of phantom-based TF assessment with dedicated experimental setup toward MR-based methods that have the potential to assess the TF in more realistic situations. Theory and Methods: An analytical description of the (Formula presented.) magnitude and transceive phase distribution around a wire-like implant was derived based on the TM. In this model, the background field is described using a superposition of spherical and cylindrical harmonics while the transfer matrix is parameterized using a previously introduced attenuated wave model. This analytical description can be used to estimate the transfer matrix and transfer function based on the measured (Formula presented.) distribution. Results: The TF was successfully determined for 2 mock-up implants: a 20-cm bare copper wire and a 20-cm insulated copper wire with 10 mm of insulation stripped at both endings in respectively 4 and 3 different trajectories. The measured TFs show a strong correlation with a reference determined from simulations and between the separate experiments with correlation coefficients above 0.96 between all TFs. Compared to the simulated TF, the maximum deviation in the estimated tip field is 9.4% and 12.2% for the bare and insulated wire, respectively. Conclusions: A method has been developed to measure the TF of medical implants using MRI experiments. Jointly fitting the incident and scattered (Formula presented.) distributions with an analytical description based on the transfer matrix enables accurate determination of the TF of 2 test implants. The presented method no longer needs input from simulated data and can therefore, in principle, be used to measure TF's in test animals or corpses.
- active implantable medical device (AIMD)
- EM simulations
- RF heating
- transfer function
- transfer matrix