Tantalum markers and MRI

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3/28/2013 2:14am
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For those of you who had proton beam treatment and have tantalum markers in your eye, I just discovered that although they are okay in a 1.5 Tesla MRI machine, they are not okay in a 3 Tesla machine! I was all suited up in my oh-so-comfy hospital gown when the nurse came in and said "there's a little problem..." Fortunately, I was at UCSF which seems to have an abundance of MRI machines, including a 1.5 Tesla one in a different radiology office in a building across the street! So I was still able to have the scan today, just had to change back into street clothes, walk across the street, get changed again...

(For those of you who didn't have proton beam treatment, tantalum markers are tiny metal rings surgically implanted before proton beam treatment to guide the proton beam. They can stay in the eye afterwards since they are okay for MRIs (mostly!) and Xray machines, etc.

 

Deborah

lak - (3/28/2013 - 3:45am)

I have had MRI s too many to number in both 1.5 and 3 T machines inclulding 1.5mm slicing of brain no ill effects. I think they are being cautious- i would ask for evidence of their decision- it is obviously better to have the most sensitive machine.

The tantalum metal is of an insignificant amount and will not recat in any MRI machine. I have had several such 3T scans already while carrying my rings, even of the brain and the eye itself, not just liver.

Your ocular oncologist should have given you, post proton beam, a little plastic card you can show to airport scanners and MRI scan people that explains this.

Peter L in Leiden, Netherlands (formerly in Windham, NH)