2021 AMI Online Salon

Magnetic Interference of CSF Shunts

Project Details

  • Entrant Name:  Tonya Hines
  • Client: Cincinnati Children’s Hospital
  • Copyright: Glia Media, 2020
  • Medium/software used: graphite sketch / Photoshop
  • Final presentation format: journal article / JNS Pediatrics
  • Primary Audience: neurosurgeons


Project Description

Many consumer devices have magnetic forces that can interfere with programmable shunt valves and alter the setting’”leading to over- or under-drainage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). Parents are advised to keep products with a 40-G threshold at least two inches away from the valve. As wearable technology permeates daily living, parents need to be able to evaluate the magnetic-field (MF) strengths of various devices for safe use near their child’s shunt.  The illustration depicts an adolescent boy interacting with common gaming, audio, and tablet devices that emit a decaying magnetic field (shown in red). A halo of devices and their measured MF strengths surround the boy and the green safety zone. Rather than limit patients with an overcautious ban on all MF devices, the authors submit that self-screening using a smartphone magnetometer could allow for safe use of select devices without waiting for third-party reports years after a technology is available.