Date Published:2016 May
PURPOSE: To restore 12-lead electrocardiographic (ECG) signal fidelity inside MRI by removing magnetic field gradient-induced voltages during high gradient duty cycle sequences. THEORY AND METHODS: A theoretical equation was derived to provide first- and second-order electrical fields induced at individual ECG electrodes as a function of gradient fields. Experiments were performed at 3T on healthy volunteers using a customized acquisition system that captured the full amplitude and frequency response of ECGs, or a commercial recording system. The 19 equation coefficients were derived via linear regression of data from accelerated sequences and were used to compute induced voltages in real-time during full resolution sequences to remove ECG artifacts. Restored traces were evaluated relative to ones acquired without imaging. RESULTS: Measured induced voltages were 0.7 V peak-to-peak during balanced steady state free precession (bSSFP) with the heart at the isocenter. Applying the equation during gradient echo sequencing, three-dimensional fast spin echo, and multislice bSSFP imaging restored nonsaturated traces and second-order concomitant terms showed larger contributions in electrodes further from the magnet isocenter. Equation coefficients are evaluated with high repeatability (ρ = 0.996) and are dependent on subject, sequence, and slice orientation. CONCLUSION: Close agreement between theoretical and measured gradient-induced voltages allowed for real-time removal. Prospective estimation of sequence periods in which large induced voltages occur may allow hardware removal of these signals.