Tag Archives: Washington

MRI perilous for pacemaker patients:IMAGING STUDY

Exposure to an MRI magnetic field can cause unintended cardiac stimulation and considerably alter pulse in patients implanted with pacemakers–conditions that can have potentially devastating consequences–according to research published Dec. 15 in BioMedical Engineering Online.

Howard I. Bassen, a researcher with the FDA in Rockville, Md., and Gonzalo G. Mendoza, a biomedical engineer at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., measured the electric fields (E-fields) induced near the tips of pacemakers by a simulated MRI gradient system to assess the risks involved in patients with a cardiac device who undergo MRI.

According to the researchers, “patients are generally not allowed (by present practices) to undergo MRI procedures if they have implanted cardiac and neurological stimulations devices,” however, some clinicians “condone scanning patients” implanted with cardiac pacemakers. In addition, Bassen and Gonzalo noted that there has been a push to develop medical implants that are MRI compatible.