Resting brain metabolic activity in a 4 Tesla magnetic field

Nora D. Volkow, Gene Jack Wang, Joanna S. Fowler, William D. Rooney, C. A. Felder, Jing Huei Lee, Dinko Franceschi, Laurence Maynard, David J. Schlyer, Jullie W. Pan, Samuel J. Gatley, Charles S. Springer

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8 Scopus citations


MRI is a major tool for mapping brain function; thus it is important to assess potential effects on brain neuronal activity attributable to the requisite static magnetic field. This study used positron emission tomography (PET) and 18F-deoxyglucose (18FDG) to measure brain glucose metabolism (a measure of brain function) in 12 subjects while their heads were in a 4 T MRI field during the 18FDG uptake period. The results were compared with those obtained when the subjects were in the earth's field (PET scanner), and when they were in a simulated MRI environment in the PET instrument that imitated the restricted visual field of the MRI experiment. Whole-brain metabolism, as well as metabolism in occipital cortex and posterior cingulate gyrus, was lower in the real (4 T) and simulated (0 T) MRI environments compared with the PET. This suggests that the metabolic differences are due mainly to the visual field differences characteristic of the MRI and PET instruments. We conclude that a static magnetic field of 4 T does not in itself affect this fairly sensitive measure of brain activity. (C) 2000 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-705
Number of pages5
JournalMagnetic Resonance in Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebellum
  • FDG
  • Functional imaging
  • PET
  • Visual stimulation


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