Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New MRI safety risk for patients with pacemakers identified

Date:
December 18, 2009
Source:
BioMed Central
Summary:
Researchers have found that certain cardiac pacemakers may inadequately stimulate a patient's heart while undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan due to the magnetic pulses mixing with the electronic pulses from the pacemaker. This inadequate stimulation is potentially dangerous for the patient undergoing the MRI scan, according to new research.

FDA researchers have found that certain cardiac pacemakers may inadequately stimulate a patient's heart while undergoing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan due to the magnetic pulses mixing with the electronic pulses from the pacemaker. This inadequate stimulation is potentially dangerous for the patient undergoing the MRI scan, according to research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BioMedical Engineering Online.

MRI is an imaging technique that uses a magnetic field instead of ionizing radiation to produce a detailed image of internal body structures. MRI systems expose patients to very strong magnetic fields that can interfere with implanted cardiac pacemakers. Physicians are instructed by pacemaker manufacturers and MRI system manufacturers not to expose patients with pacemakers to MRI scans. MRI can damage the pacemaker's electronic system and cause burning of heart tissue at the tip of the pacemaker lead, due to an increase in temperature from the MRI. Both risks can result in incorrect or absent stimulation from the pacemaker.

However, some cardiologists have published special protocols that describe how to allow patients with cardiac pacemakers to receive MRI scans. Some have stated that for certain patients, the diagnostic benefit from MR imaging versus other pacemaker compatible imaging modalities outweighs the risks.

FDA researchers Howard Bassen and Gonzalo Mendoza evaluated the risk of pacemakers causing unintended cardiac stimulation following exposure to a simulated MRI magnetic field by measuring electrical voltage produced at the tip of the pacemaker lead, where it would touch the interior of the heart.

Bassen and Mendoza found that when exposed to the strong, "gradient," magnetic field, the pacemaker could deliver a drastically altered pulse and stimulate the heart inappropriately, which could have devastating consequences for the patient.

"MRI systems emit several types of extremely intense magnetic fields and have caused injury to patients due to interactions with pacemakers," said Bassen. "Cardiologists who choose to scan patients with cardiac pacemakers must assess the risks versus the benefits of the scan."

"This paper identifies one more risk," said Bassen.

Each year in the United States, patients undergo some 40 million MRI procedures. There are also 10 million pacemaker users in the United States.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by BioMed Central. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Howard I. Bassen and Gonzalo G. Mendoza. In-vitro mapping of E fields induced near pacemaker leads by simulated MR gradient fields. BioMedical Engineering OnLine, 2009; (in press)

Cite This Page:

BioMed Central. "New MRI safety risk for patients with pacemakers identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 December 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214201005.htm>.
BioMed Central. (2009, December 18). New MRI safety risk for patients with pacemakers identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214201005.htm
BioMed Central. "New MRI safety risk for patients with pacemakers identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/12/091214201005.htm (accessed April 23, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Big Pharma Braces for M&A Wave

Reuters - Business Video Online (Apr. 22, 2014) Big pharma on the move as Novartis boss, Joe Jimenez, tells Reuters about plans to transform his company via an asset exchange with GSK, and Astra Zeneca shares surge on speculation that Pfizer is looking for a takeover. Joanna Partridge reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Study Says Most Crime Not Linked To Mental Illness

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) A new study finds most crimes committed by people with mental illness are not caused by symptoms of their illness or disorder. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

Hagel Gets Preview of New High-Tech Projects

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is given hands-on demonstrations Tuesday of some of the newest research from DARPA _ the military's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency program. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

How Smaller Plates And Cutlery Could Make You Feel Fuller

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) NBC's "Today" conducted an experiment to see if changing the size of plates and utensils affects the amount individuals eat. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins