Amanda M. Lauer1, Abdelmonem M. El-Sharkawy2, Dara L. Kraitchman2, William A. Edelstein2
1Otolaryngology-HNS, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States; 2Radiology/MRI Division, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD, United States
Vertebrate animal MRI is an important part of medical research, and veterinary MRI imaging of companion animals is increasing. Human subjects are generally provided with hearing protection against the loud, potentially damaging acoustic noise produced by MRI scanners; this is generally not done for animal MRI subjects. Hearing damage can interfere with research functions for research animals or quality of life for companion animals. We compare typical MRI noise levels to animal hearing thresholds and conclude that MRI exposes many animals to levels of noise and duration that would exceed NIOSH limits for human exposure.