Harvard Heart Letter

MRI safe pacemakers?

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital found that 24 models of pacemakers and implanted defibrillators (see table) seemed to be safe for use in a standard MRI machine. Keep in mind that the Hopkins protocol included temporarily reprogramming implanted devices for the duration of the MRI, turning off defibrillators' shock function, reducing the energy of the MRI, continuous monitoring with an electrocardiogram during the scan, and making sure that equipment for restarting the heart and performing CPR were immediately available. This study does not give a green light for MRIs in everyone with a pacemaker or implanted defibrillator.

Pacemakers and defibrillators that satisfactorily underwent MRI testing at Johns Hopkins Hospital

Manufacturer

Model name (model number)

Pacemakers

St Jude

Pacesetter AFP (262)

Trilogy (2360)

Entity (5326)

Affinity (5130, 5330)

Integrity (5142, 5342, 5346)

Identity (5172, 5370, 5376, 5380, 5386)

Guidant

Vigor (1232)

Discovery (1272)

Insignia (1194, 1290)

Medtronic

EnPulse (AT-500, E2SRO1, E2DRO1)

Kappa (701, 901)

Prodigy (7860)

In Sync BiV (8040, 8042)

Defibrillators

St Jude

Photon (V-194, V-230, V-232)

Atlas (V-240)

Epic (V-197, V-235, V-239)

Guidant

Prizm (1850, 1851, 1852, 1860, 1861)

Contak (1823, H119, H170, H175)

Vitality (T125, T135)

Medtronic

Maximo (7232)

Gem-II (7273)

Gem-III (7275)

Marquis (7274)

InSync (7272)

Source: Saman Nazarian et al. Clinical utility and safety of a protocol for noncardiac and cardiac magnetic resonance imaging of patients with permanent pacemakers and implantable-cardioverter defibrillators at 1.5 Tesla. Circulation September 19, 2006, Volume 114, Pages 1277-1284.

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