Clash of the titans

Published: April, 2006

The pacemaker and the MRI can't work together — at least not yet.

Here's a cruel irony: If you have a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter/defibrillator (ICD), you can't take advantage of another of the 20th century's life-saving devices, the MRI. Energy from an MRI scan can change how these devices control the heart, damage the devices, or harm the heart tissue around them.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.
  • 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

New subscriptions to Harvard Health Online are temporarily unavailable. Click the button below to learn about our other subscription offers.

Learn More »