Performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with a metallic implant raises concern over the potential complications, including susceptibility artifacts, implant migration, and heat injury. The purpose of this study was to investigate these complications in dogs with implanted microchips by evaluating MR images and the histopathological changes after 1.5 Tesla (T) MRI. Five dogs underwent microchip implantation in the cervicothoracic area. One month later, the area was imaged using 1.5T MRI in three dogs. The microchips were removed surgically together with the surrounding tissue in all dogs. There was significant signal loss and image distortion over a wide range around the area where the microchip was implanted. This change was consistent with susceptibility artifacts, which rendered the affected area including the spinal cord undiagnostic. The artifact was more extensive in T2*-weighted images (gradient-echo) and less extensive in proton density-weighted images (fast spin-echo with short echo time). Histopathologically, all microchips were well-encapsulated with granulation tissue, and there were no evidence of migration of microchips. Cell debris and a moderate number of degenerated cells with fibrin were seen in the inner layer of the granulation tissue in each dog that underwent MRI. These changes were very subtle and did not seem to be clinically significant. The results of this study suggest that, in 1.5T MRI, susceptibility artifacts produced by implanted microchips can be marked, although the dogs with implants appeared to be scanned safely.
2010 by the Japanese Society of Veterinary Science