MRI safety risks in the obese: The case of the disposable lighter stored in the pannus

H. Michael Gach, Stacie L. Mackey, Sarah E. Hausman, Danielle R. Jackson, Tammie L. Benzinger, Lauren Henke, Lindsay A. Murphy, Jamie L. Fluchel, Bin Cai, Jacqueline E. Zoberi, Jose Garcia-Ramirez, Sasa Mutic, Julie K. Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Obese patients constitute 40% of the adult population. MRIs of obese patients are typically challenging because of the effects of a large field of view on image quality and the increased risk of thermal burns from contact with the bore. In this case report, the impacts of obesity on MRI procedures and safety are introduced. Then a case is presented of a 30-year old female cervical cancer patient who received an MRI simulation to verify the placement of a titanium tandem and colpostats for brachytherapy. A large magnetic susceptibility artifact was detected near the right pelvis during the MRI scout indicating the presence of ferrous material. The source of the artifact turned out to be a disposable lighter that was stored inside the patient's pannus. The finding highlights an unanticipated risk to MRI safety and image quality associated with large body habitus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)634-638
Number of pages5
JournalRadiology Case Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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