Recent Blog Articles

Heart Health

MRI and pacemakers: A risky mix

Updated: June 01, 2012

Unless you have an MRI-friendly pacemaker, a CT scan may be safer.

If you have an implanted cardiac device such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, you have likely been told you cannot undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). 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.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».

Disclaimer:

As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.