Increasing field strengths in MRI necessitate the examination of potential side effects. Previously reported results have been contradictory, possibly caused by imbalanced samples. We aimed to examine whether special groups of people are more prone to develop side effects that might have led to contradictory results in previous studies. We examined the occurrence of sensory side effects in static magnetic fields of MRI scanners of 1.5, 3, and 7 T and a mock scanner in 41 healthy participants. The contribution of field strength, sex, age, and attention to bodily processes, and stress hormone levels to the sensation of dizziness was examined in separate univariate analyses and in a joint analysis that included all variables. Field strength and sex were significant factors in the joint analysis (P=0.001), with women being more strongly affected than men by dizziness in higher static magnetic fields. This effect was not mediated by the other variables such as attention to bodily symptoms or stress hormones. Further research needs to elucidate the underlying factors of increased dizziness in women in static magnetic fields in MRI. We hypothesize that imbalanced samples of earlier studies might be one reason for previous contradictory results on the side effects of static magnetic fields.
Type of Publication:
Journal article published