Harvard Heart Letter

MRI and pacemakers: A risky mix

Unless you have an MRI-friendly pacemaker, a CT scan may be safer. In multiple studies, the powerful magnets in MRI units have caused pacemakers to change their settings and the leads in both types of devices to become superheated. Some deaths have occurred during inadvertent, unmonitored scanning of patients with pacemakers, although the exact reasons are unknown. Computed tomography (CT) is often recommended as an alternative imaging test.
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