Quenching refers to rapid expulsion of the liquid cryogen used to maintain the MRI magnet in a superconducting state.

Modern MRI scanners contain superconducting magnets which have very low energy consumption, made possible by maintaining internal subzero temperatures by way of a 'cryogen bath' of liquid helium. In the event that somebody pushes the emergency stop button or there is an equipment fault, the liquid helium boils off rapidly accompanied by a loud banging or hissing sound, safely expelled from the building by means of a dedicated venting system.

Extremely rare but if for some reason the gas should escape into the room instead of being vented outside the building, there is a risk of asphyxiation and frostbite.

Physics and Imaging Technology: MRI
Share article

Article information

rID: 16524
Section: Physics
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:

Support Radiopaedia and see fewer ads

Updating… Please wait.

Alert accept

Error Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

Alert accept Thank you for updating your details.