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Feasibility of an intracranial EEG-fMRI protocol at 3T: risk assessment and image quality.

NeuroImage (2012-08-21)
Shannon M Boucousis, Craig A Beers, Cameron J B Cunningham, Ismael Gaxiola-Valdez, Daniel J Pittman, Bradley G Goodyear, Paolo Federico

Integrating intracranial EEG (iEEG) with functional MRI (iEEG-fMRI) may help elucidate mechanisms underlying the generation of seizures. However, the introduction of iEEG electrodes in the MR environment has inherent risk and data quality implications that require consideration prior to clinical use. Previous studies of subdural and depth electrodes have confirmed low risk under specific circumstances at 1.5T and 3T. However, no studies have assessed risk and image quality related to the feasibility of a full iEEG-fMRI protocol. To this end, commercially available platinum subdural grid/strip electrodes (4×5 grid or 1×8 strip) and 4 or 6-contact depth electrodes were secured to the surface of a custom-made phantom mimicking the conductivity of the human brain. Electrode displacement, temperature increase of electrodes and surrounding phantom material, and voltage fluctuations in electrode contacts were measured in a GE Discovery MR750 3T MR scanner during a variety of imaging sequences, typical of an iEEG-fMRI protocol. An electrode grid was also used to quantify the spatial extent of susceptibility artifact. The spatial extent of susceptibility artifact in the presence of an electrode was also assessed for typical imaging parameters that maximize BOLD sensitivity at 3T (TR=1500 ms; TE=30 ms; slice thickness=4mm; matrix=64×64; field-of-view=24 cm). Under standard conditions, all electrodes exhibited no measurable displacement and no clinically significant temperature increase (<1°C) during scans employed in a typical iEEG-fMRI experiment, including 60 min of continuous fMRI. However, high SAR sequences, such as fast spin-echo (FSE), produced significant heating in almost all scenarios (>2.0°C) that in some cases exceeded 10°C. Induced voltages in the frequency range that could elicit neuronal stimulation (<10 kHz) were well below the threshold of 100 mV. fMRI signal intensity was significantly reduced within 20mm of the electrodes for the imaging parameters used in this study. Thus, for the conditions tested, a full iEEG-fMRI protocol poses a low risk at 3T; however, fMRI sensitivity may be reduced immediately adjacent to the electrodes. In addition, high SAR sequences must be avoided.

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