A measure of acoustic noise generated from transcranial magnetic stimulation coils

Sameer C. Dhamne, Raveena S. Kothare, Camilla Yu, Tsung Hsun Hsieh, Elana M. Anastasio, Lindsay Oberman, Alvaro Pascual-Leone, Alexander Rotenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


The intensity of sound emanating from the discharge of magnetic coils used in repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) can potentially cause acoustic trauma. Per Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards for safety of noise exposure, hearing protection is recommended beyond restricted levels of noise and time limits. We measured the sound pressure levels (SPLs) from four rTMS coils with the goal of assessing if the acoustic artifact levels are of sufficient amplitude to warrant protection from acoustic trauma per OSHA standards. We studied the SPLs at two frequencies (5 and 10 Hz), three machine outputs (MO) (60, 80 and 100%), and two distances from the coil (5 and 10 cm). We found that the SPLs were louder at closer proximity from the coil and directly dependent on the MO. We also found that in all studied conditions, SPLs were lower than the OSHA permissible thresholds for short (8 h) exposure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)432-434
Number of pages3
JournalBrain Stimulation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Acoustic noise
  • Sound pressure levels
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biophysics
  • Medicine(all)


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