Magnetic resonance imaging of pacemakers and implantable defibrillators
Magnetic resonance imaging of pacemakers and implantable defibrillators: Conventionally, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is contraindicated in patients with implanted rhythm devices (pacemaker, implantable cardioverter defibrillator, insertable loop recorder). Earlier studies had shown that scanning at 0.5 – 1.5 Tesla field strength could be done cautiously in those with an absolute life saving requirement for an MRI scan. Now a recent study in PACE  has shown that it is possible to use even 3 Tesla MRI scanners with good safety. But extensive monitoring, pre and post programming and supervision by an electrophysiologist are mandatory. Moreover, the information to be gained by MRI should be so important in the management of the patient and not obtainable from other modalities. In this study on 14 patients, no significant change in the programmed parameters, pacing thresholds, sensing, impedance, or battery parameters was noted. Prolonged artifactual asystole was recorded by the insertable loop recorder (ILR) during the MRI scan. In general such scans are not considered in pacemaker dependent patients and in those with recently implanted pacemakers.
The data presented here is about non MRI conditional cardiac implantable rhythm devices.
- Gimbel JR. Magnetic resonance imaging of implantable cardiac rhythm devices at 3.0 tesla. Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2008 Jul;31(7):795-801.