Quiet MRI with novel acoustic noise reduction

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Abstract

Fast scan techniques, which are used to reduce scanning times, have raised scanning noise levels in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) systems, resulting in greater patient discomfort and stress. It is well known that this noise is caused by vibration of the gradient coil due to the Lorentz forces generated by the current in the gradient coil, which is placed in a static magnetic field. We have confirmed that MRI noise can be substantially reduced by sealing the gradient coil in a vacuum chamber to block airborne vibration propagation, by supporting the gradient coil independently to block solid vibration propagation and by decreasing the eddy currents induced in RF coils, the RF shield and the static-field-magnet cryostat. Based on these findings, we have developed a silent MRI system in which scanning noise is markedly reduced under a wide range of scanning conditions.