Journal of Biomedical Optics • Open AccessFiber-optic sensors for monitoring patient physiological parameters: a review of applicable technologies and relevance to use during magnetic resonance imaging procedures
The issues involved with recording vital functions in the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment using fiber-optic sensors are considered in this paper. Basic physiological parameters, such as respiration and heart rate, are fundamental for predicting the risk of anxiety, panic, and claustrophobic episodes in patients undergoing MRI examinations. Electronic transducers are generally hazardous to the patient and are prone to erroneous operation in heavily electromagnetically penetrated MRI environments; however, nonmetallic fiber-optic sensors are inherently immune to electromagnetic effects and will be crucial for acquiring the above-mentioned physiological parameters. Forty-seven MRI-tested or potentially MRI-compatible sensors have appeared in the literature over the last 20 years. The author classifies these sensors into several categories and subcategories, depending on the sensing element placement, method of application, and measurand type. The author includes five in-house-designed fiber Bragg grating based sensors and shares experience in acquiring physiological measurements during MRI scans. This paper aims to systematize the knowledge of fiber-optic techniques for recording life functions and to indicate the current directions of development in this area.