MRI and pacemakers: A risky mix

Published: June, 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.

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