Subjectively Reported Effects Experienced in an Actively Shielded 7T MRI: A Large-Scale Study

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Ultrahigh-field (UHF) MRI advances towards clinical use. Patient compliance is generally high, but few large-scale studies have investigated the effects experienced in 7T MRI systems, especially considering peripheral nerve stimulation (PNS) and caregiving. Purpose: To evaluate the quantity, the intensity, and subjective experiences from short-term effects, focusing on the levels of comfort and compliance of subjects. Study Type: Prospective. Population: In all, 954 consecutive MRIs in 801 subjects for 3 years. Field Strength: 7T. Assessment: After the 7T examination, a questionnaire was used to collect data. Statistical Tests: Descriptive statistics, Spearman's rank correlation, Mann–Whitney U-test, and t-test. Results: The majority (63%) of subjects agreed that the MRI experience was comfortable and 93% would be willing to undergo future 7T MRI as a patient (5% undecided) and 82% for research purposes (12% undecided). The most common short-term effects experienced were dizziness (81%), inconsistent movement (68%), PNS (63%), headache (40%), nausea (32%), metallic taste (12%), and light flashes (8%). Of the subjects who reported having PNS (n = 603), 44% experienced PNS as “not uncomfortable at all,” 45% as “little or very little uncomfortable,” and 11% as “moderate to very much uncomfortable.” Scanner room temperature was experienced more comfortable before (78%) than during (58%) examinations, and the noise level was acceptable by 90% of subjects. Anxiety before the examination was reported by 43%. Patients differed from healthy volunteers regarding an experience of headache, metallic taste, dizziness, or anxiety. Room for improvement was pointed out after 117 examinations concerning given information (n = 73), communication and sound system (n = 35), or nursing care (n = 15). Data Conclusion: Subjectively reported effects occur in actively shielded 7T MRI and include physiological responses and individual psychological issues. Although leaving room for improvement, few subjects experienced these effects being so uncomfortable that they would lead to aversion to future UHF examinations. Level of Evidence: 1. Technical Efficacy: Stage 5.


External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • University of Gothenburg
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging


  • anxiety, dizziness, patient compliance, peripheral nerve stimulation, safety, ultrahigh field
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1265-1276
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Issue number4
Early online date2020 Mar 20
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Oct
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Boel Hansson, 2020, Lund: Lund University, Faculty of Medicine. 83 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis (compilation)

View all (1)