Thursday, May 23, 2013

MRI exams in patients with implanted pacemakers: it's here!

But not ready for prime time. The topic was recently reviewed. From the opening section of the review:

The increased need for MRI in PPM patients has prompted the development of a specifically designed pacemaker and lead system tested for safe use in the MRI environment and in early 2011, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first cardiac pacemaker designed to be used safely but conditionally during MRI examinations.[7]

Historically the hazards of MRI in pacemaker patients have included inhibition, “throwing the reed switch” leading to asynchronous pacing, reprogramming, current induction in the lead causing thermal injury at the tip and even myocardial perforation. And more.

All the manufacturers are working on MRI compatible devices and the field is evolving rapidly.

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