Piesnack S, Frame ME, Oechtering G, et al.
The ability to read patient identification microchips relies on the use of radiofrequency pulses. Since radiofrequency pulses also form an integral part of the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) process, the possibility of loss of microchip function during MRI scanning is of concern. Previous clinical trials have shown microchip function to be unaffected by MR imaging using a field strength of 1 Tesla and 1.5. As veterinary MRI scanners range widely in field strength, this study was devised to determine whether exposure to lower or higher field strengths than 1 Tesla would affect the function of different types of microchip. In a phantom study, a total of 300 International Standards Organisation (ISO)-approved microchips (100 each of three different types: ISO FDX-B 1.4 x 9 mm, ISO FDX-B 2.12 x 12 mm, ISO HDX 3.8 x 23 mm) were tested in a low field (0.5) and a high field scanner (3.0 Tesla). A total of 50 microchips of each type were tested in each scanner. The phantom was composed of a fluid-filled freezer pack onto which a plastic pillow and a cardboard strip with affixed microchips were positioned. Following an MRI scan protocol simulating a head study, all of the microchips were accurately readable. Neither 0.5 nor 3 Tesla imaging affected microchip function in this study.