Internal and Emergency Medicine

, Volume 13, Issue 6, pp 933–935 | Cite as

Assessing the safety of magnetic resonance imaging in cardiac device carriers

  • Elisa GesuEmail author
  • Giorgio Colombo
  • Jane Victoria Moffat
  • Gruppo di Autoformazione Metodologica (GrAM)


Patients with a pacemaker (PM) or an implanted cardiac defibrillator (ICD) have an estimated 50–75% likelihood of having a clinical indication for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) over the lifetime of their device [1].

Serious adverse effects have been described in electronic cardiac device carriers, in particular, inappropriate sensing, triggering or activation of the device, electrical reset and reed switch malfunction that could cause serious arrhytmias [1].

The American Heart Association (AHA) affirms that presently MRI examination in conventional electronic cardiac device carriers is discouraged, and should be considered only where there are strong clinical indications in which the benefits clearly outweigh risks. The AHA also suggested the production of MRI-compatible electronic cardiac devices to resolve any compatibility issues [1]. On the other hand, the more recent European Society of Cardiology (ESC) guidelines on cardiac pacing suggest that in patients with...


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Statement of human and animal rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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    Levine GN, Gomes AS, Arai AE et al (2007) Safety of magnetic resonance imaging in patients with cardiovascular devices. Circulation 116:2878–2891CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    The Task Force on cardiac pacing and resynchronization therapy of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC). Developed in collaboration with the European Heart Rhythm Association (EHRA) (2013) 2013 ESC guidelines on cardiac pacing and cardiac resynchronization therapy. Eur Heart J 34:2281–2329CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Russo RJ, Costa HS, Silva PD et al (2017) Assessing the risks associated with MRI in patients with a pacemaker or defibrillator. N Engl J Med 376:755–764CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
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    Nazarian S, Hansford R, Rahsepar AA et al (2017) Safety of magnetic resonance imaging in patients with cardiac devices. N Engl J Med 377:2555–2564CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
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    Costantino G, Montano N, Casazza G (2015) When should we change our clinical practice based on the results of a clinical study? Study endpoints. Intern Emerg Med 10(7):875–877CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© SIMI 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.UOC Pronto Soccorso e Medicina d’Urgenza, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Medicina InternaFondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda, Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly
  3. 3.School of MedicineKeele UniversityManchesterUK

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