Magnetic resonance imaging with side effects

Great care should be taken when performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in patients with a cardiac pacemaker. Henning Bovenschulte and his co-authors review recent findings in the latest issue of Deutsches Ärzteblatt International (Dtsch Arztebl Int 2012; 109[15]: 270-5).

MRI is generally contraindicated in patients with a pacemaker (PM) or an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD), because of the risk of life-threatening events. The devices and their sensors may interact with the magnetic fields, disrupting the cardiac rhythm. Energy builds up in the electrode leads, which act as an antenna, and is discharged into the tissues around the tip of the electrode.

The principal published studies, complemented by the authors' own data, yielded a total of 1043 patients with a PM or ICD who had undergone MRI. No life-threatening complications were observed. In 11 cases electrical resetting of the device was necessary, and a significant increase in pacing threshold was seen in 16 cases.

Despite the potential hazards, MRI is occasionally indicated in a seriously ill patient. Provided appropriate steps are taken to optimize the procedure, the benefits of MRI will clearly outweigh the risks.

More information: www.aerzteblatt.de

Provided by Deutsches Aerzteblatt International

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

FDA approves first MRI-safe pacemaker

Feb 08, 2011

The US Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved the first pacemaker system -- produced by medical device giant Medtronic Inc. -- that can be used safely with MRI scanners.

Recommended for you

Why aren't there any human doctors in Star Wars?

Jan 30, 2015

Though set "a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," it isn't hard to see in the Star Wars films a vision of our own not so distant future. But Anthony Jones, a physician with a long background in health ...

Cambodia bans 'virgin surgery' adverts

Jan 29, 2015

The Cambodian government has ordered a hospital to stop advertising so-called virginity restoration procedures, saying it harms the "morality" of society.

What's happening with your donated specimen?

Jan 28, 2015

When donating blood, plasma, human tissue or any other bodily sample for medical research, most people might not think about how it's being used. But if you were told, would you care?

Amgen tops Street 4Q forecasts

Jan 27, 2015

Amgen Inc. cruised to a 27 percent jump in fourth-quarter profit and beat Wall Street expectations, due to higher sales of nearly all its medicines, tight cost controls and a tax benefit.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.