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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 3035479, 9 pages
Research Article

The Magnetic Field Produced by the Heart and Its Influence on MRI

Department of Physics, Oakland University, Rochester, MI, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Bradley J. Roth; ude.dnalkao@htor

Received 5 February 2017; Accepted 20 April 2017; Published 10 May 2017

Academic Editor: Seungik Baek

Copyright © 2017 Dan Xu and Bradley J. Roth. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Background. Action currents in the heart produce a magnetic field, which could provide a way to detect the propagation of electrical activity through cardiac tissue using magnetic resonance imaging. However, the magnetic field produced by current in the heart is small. The key question addressed in this study is are cardiac biomagnetic fields large enough to be detectable by MRI? Results. A spherical model is used to calculate the magnetic field inside the heart, which has a magnitude of about 14 nT. This field implies a phase shift in the MRI signal of about 0.2°. Conclusion. Phase shifts associated with cardiac action currents will be difficult to detect using current MRI technology but may be possible if motion artifacts and other physiological noise can be suppressed.