MRI safe for patients with cardiac implantable devices

Before the study - titled ‘Real World MRI Experience with Non-Conditional and Conditional Cardiac Rhythm Devices after MagnaSafe’ - it was considered dangerous for patients with such cardiac devices to undergo MRIs.

With the high-strength magnetic fields that MRIs use, researchers feared that an MRI would interfere with the generator circuits, or metal leads might be pulled out of place by magnetism, or the lead tips would heat excessively and scar the surrounding tissue.

However, researchers at the Intermountain Medical Centre Heart Institute conducted a study of 212 MRI scans on 178 patients with implanted cardiac devices. In all the patients scanned (of which included 418 implanted leads) not a single problem was found that required remediation.  

This study follows and builds on the MagnaSafe Registry study earlier this year, which exemplified that non-conditional devices can be safely imaged by MRI if adequate precautions are observed.

Speaking on the findings, Dr. Anderson from the MagnaSafe Registry study said:

"That's a pretty big number of leads exposed to these very strong MRI fields. You would think if there was even a 1 percent chance of having a problem, it would have shown up. Not even one generator or lead needed more than a minor adjustment, if any at all."

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