An MR thermometry technique with sub-degree celsius accuracy is needed to measure in vivo temperatures vs. time in porcine brains at ultra-high fields. Porcine models are used to study thermoregulatory temperature response of the ultra-high field radiofrequency (RF) heating. The porcine hot critical temperature limit is comparable to and lower than that of humans. Also, porcine thermoregulatory mechanisms are similar to humans. Thus, conservative porcine thermoregulatory temperature responses can help develop new RF safety thresholds for ultra-high field human MRI. Sub-degree C temperature accuracy is needed since RF safety guidelines limit the maximum in vivo head temperature change due to RF heating to 1 °C over the core body temperature. Three-dimensional temperature maps over time are required since non-uniform RF power deposition at ultra-high fields and blood flow produce non-uniform in vivo temperatures with local hot spots. Thermogenic hazards are related to in vivo temperatures and temperature-time history — and not to the typically measured whole head average specific absorption rate.

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