Breakthrough in Pacemakers; now MRI proof
By Sahar Adil | Published: January 23 2010
A breakthrough innovation by US based medical device company, Medtronic, has now made MRI scanning possible for patients with pacemakers implanted.
Cardiac patients with Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm or heart beat) have a reason to be reassured now! A breakthrough innovation by US based medical device company, Medtronic, has now made MRI scanning possible for patients with pacemakers implanted. The other side to this is that over 1 million patients who get the device implanted every year are strictly prohibited from MRI scan exposure as its magnetic fields can alter the functioning of the pacemaker causing serious complications for the patient.
The Pacemaker from Medtronics has taken years to perfect with materials that will not be affected by and MRI. The first such implant was made in State of Karnataka was done last week by Dr. Keshava R, Sr. Cardiologist & Director-Cathlab Services at Vivus Hospital in Bangalore. Dr. Keshava is one of the leading Electrophysiologist in Karnataka and is trained in Electrophysiology from University of Lariboisre, Paris. The implant was performed on a 61 year old man with Bradycardia. Bradycardia is a disease condition where heart beat is less than 60 beats per minute and can lead to heart failure. “ People over the age of 50 and then progressively every year, who have had stressful lifestyle’s may be susceptible to heart diseases.
A pacemaker is required to fix this flutter and have the heart pumping back its normal rate of about 70 beats per minute,” says Dr. Keshava on the pacemaker. But when a patient with a regular pacemaker requires an MRI for any number of diseases, which may not be hear related but has a regular pacemaker in his heart, he will not be able to undergo the MRI as it can completely inhibit the function of the device.” The theory here is that when exposed to MRI scan, tips of the pacemaker’s leads can get extremely hot (upto 80°C) due to radio waves causing burns in the heart and this MRI scan can inhibit the function of device and induce rapid pacing (rapid heart beat) or even device failure leading to irreversible damage to the patient.
Dr. Keshava R said also added,” EnRhythm MRI SureScan pacemaker, innovated and manufactured by US based Medtronic is a milestone achievement in history of implantable cardiac devices. Number of implanted pacemakers is increasing over the years and every year the incidences of such patients are on a rise.”