Active Deep Brain Stimulation during MRI: A Feasibility Study

Jens Christoph Georgi*, C. Stippich, V. M. Tronnier, S. Heiland

*Corresponding author for this work
76 Citations (Scopus)


The goal of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of active deep brain stimulation (DBS) during the application of standard clinical sequences for functional MRI (fMRI) in phantom measurements. During active DBS, we investigated induced voltage, temperature at the electrode tips and lead, forces on the electrode and lead, consequences of defective leads and loose connections, proper operation of the neurostimulator, and image quality. Sequences for diffusion- and perfusion-weighted imaging, fMRI, and morphologic MRI were used. The DBS electrode and lead were placed in a NaCl solution-filled phantom. The results indicate that there are severe potential hazards for patients. Strong heating, high induced voltage, and even sparking at defects in the connecting cable could be observed. However, it was demonstrated that under certain conditions, safe MR examinations during active DBS are feasible. Certain safety precautions are recommended in this report.

Original languageEnglish
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)380-388
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 02.2004


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