Standard clinical protocols require hearing protection during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) for patient safety. This investigation prospectively evaluated the auditory function impact of acoustic noise exposure during a 3.0T MRI in healthy adults. Twenty-nine participants with normal hearing underwent a comprehensive audiologic assessment before and immediately following a clinically indicated head MRI. Appropriate hearing protection with earplugs (and pads) was used per standard of practice. To characterize noise hazards, current sound monitoring tools were used to measure levels of pulse sequences measured. A third audiologic test was performed if a significant threshold shift (STS) was identified at the second test, within 30 days post MRI. Some sequences produced high levels (up to 114.5 dBA; 129 dB peak SPL) that required hearing protection but did not exceed 100% daily noise dose. One participant exhibited an STS in the frequency region most highly associated with noise-induced hearing loss. No participants experienced OSHA-defined STS in either ear. Overall, OAE measures did not show evidence of changes in cochlear function after MRI. In conclusion, hearing threshold shifts associated with hearing loss or OAE level shifts reflecting underlying cochlear damage were not detected in any of the 3.0T MRI study participants who used the current recommended hearing protection.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics