False eyelashes with magnetic properties are becoming an increasingly popular cosmetic accessory, more of these items will no doubt adorn patients scheduled for MRI scans in the future. They have drawn the attention of MRI researchers who are concerned about their potential effect on image quality and patient safety in a new study, published online July 24 in the American Journal of Radiology.
Researchers reported significant artifacts caused by the ferromagnetic eyelashes in phantom MR images and detachment of eyelashes from their placement inside the phantom due to the pull of the scanner's magnet. The results have prompted a recommendation that magnetic eyelashes be added to standard MRI safety checks prior to scanning, as well as a warning to imaging staff to refrain from wearing the accessories.
"We have shown that these magnetic eyelashes will significantly degrade clinical images but can also present a hazard to the patient," Slonimsky and Mamourian concluded. "On that basis, they should be added to the pre-imaging MRI questionnaire, and clerical staff who schedule MRI scans should advise against their use on the day of scanning. ... All staff, including physicians and technologists with access to the scanner room, should avoid their use as well."
MRI safety questionnaires should be updated to include a query regarding false eyelashes as they represent a safety issue.