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On call: MRIs and coronary stents

Updated: September 01, 2007

On call

MRIs and coronary stents

Q. When I had an MRI of my knee after a skiing injury last fall, I was told the test was dangerous for people who have metal devices in their bodies. Since then, I developed angina and my cardiologist put in a metal stent. I'm doing fine, but if I need an MRI in the future, will I be able to get one?

A. It is true that MRIs are dangerous in patients with certain artificial joints, cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, and other implanted metal devices. Even a tiny metal fragment in the eye can be hazardous, since the energy from an MRI can cause the metal to heat up, possibly damaging sensitive tissues.

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