Determinants of gradient field-induced current in a pacemaker lead system in a magnetic resonance imaging environment

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD 21287, USA. <>
Heart Rhythm (Impact Factor: 4.92). 04/2008; 5(3):462-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.hrthm.2007.12.022
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The determinants of low-frequency-induced current by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) gradient fields in a pacemaker lead system are largely unknown.
The purpose of this study was to determine the magnitude of MRI low-frequency-induced current in an implanted pacemaker lead system and to investigate in vivo determinants of low-frequency-induced current in an animal model.
Six mongrel dogs underwent conventional single-chamber pacemaker implantation with a current recorder connected in series. Pulse generator (PG) was programmed to VOO 120 bpm with subthreshold output. MRI was performed in a 1.5-T scanner. Low-frequency-induced current was recorded during unipolar pacing, bipolar pacing, and bipolar pacing with the PG case electrically isolated from the pocket. In each mode, low-frequency-induced current was recorded with and without a large loop of additional lead connected in series.
With a conventional implant, low-frequency-induced current was < or =0.5 mA in all three pacing modes. With five external loops, the magnitude of low-frequency-induced current increased to >30 mA, with consistent myocardial capture in unipolar and bipolar pacing. However, in bipolar pacing with the PG electrically isolated from the pocket, low-frequency-induced current decreased to <0.5 mA with no myocardial capture even with additional looped leads.
Under conventional implant conditions, the magnitude of low-frequency-induced current is <0.5 mA and is unlikely to cause myocardial capture; however, arrhythmia induction cannot be excluded. With sufficient increase in effective loop area (additional looped leads), direct myocardial capture by the low-frequency-induced current is possible. In this study, breaking the return pathway by electrically isolating the PG case from the circuit abolished low-frequency-induced current.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Use of both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and pacing devices has undergone remarkable growth in recent years, and it is estimated that the majority of patients with pacemakers will need an MRI during their lifetime. These investigations will generally be denied due to the potentially dangerous interactions between cardiac devices and the magnetic fields and radio frequency energy used in MRI. Despite the increasing reports of uneventful scanning in selected patients with conventional pacemakers under close surveillance, MRI is still contraindicated in those circumstances and cannot be considered a routine procedure. These limitations prompted a series of modifications in generator and lead engineering, designed to minimize interactions that could compromise device function and patient safety. The resulting MRI-conditional pacemakers were first introduced in 2008 and the clinical experience gathered so far supports their safety in the MRI environment if certain conditions are fulfilled. With this technology, new questions and controversies arise regarding patient selection, clinical impact, and cost-effectiveness. In this review, we discuss the potential risks of MRI in patients with electronic cardiac devices and present updated information regarding the features of MRI-conditional pacemakers and the clinical experience with currently available models. Finally, we provide some guidance on how to scan patients who have these devices and discuss future directions in the field.
    Medical Devices: Evidence and Research 05/2014; 7:115-124. DOI:10.2147/MDER.S44063
  • Circulation Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology 04/2013; 6(2):419-428. DOI:10.1161/CIRCEP.113.000116 · 5.42 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: BackgroundConventional cardiac pacemakers are still often regarded as a contraindication to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). We conducted this study to support the hypothesis that it is safe to scan patients with cardiac pacemakers in a 1.5 Tesla MRI, if close supervision and monitoring as well as adequate pre- and postscan programming is provided.MethodsWe followed up 356 patients (age 61.3 ± 9.1 yrs., 229 men) with single (n = 132) or dual chamber (n = 224) cardiac pacemakers and urgent indication for a cranial MRI for 12 months. The scans were performed at 1.5T. During the scan patients were monitored with a 3-lead ECG and pulse oximetry. Prior to the scan pacemakers were programmed according to our own protocol.ResultsAll 356 scans were completed without complications. No arrhythmias were induced, programmed parameters remained unchanged. No pacemaker dysfunction was identified. Follow-up examinations were performed immediately, 2 weeks, 2, 6, and 12 months after the scan. There was no significant change of pacing capture threshold (ventricular 0.9 ± 0.4 V@0.4 ms, atrial 0.9 ± 0.3 V@0.4 ms) immediately (ventricular 1.0 ± 0.3 V@0.4 ms, atrial 0.9 ± 0.4 V@0.4 ms) or at 12 months follow-up examinations (ventricular 0.9 ± 0.2 V@0.4 ms, atrial 0.9 ± 0.3 V@0.4 ms). There was no significant change in sensing threshold (8.0 ± 4.0 mV vs. 8.1 ± 4.2 mV ventricular lead, 2.0 ± 0.9 mV vs. 2.1 ± 1.0 mV atrial lead) or lead impedance (ventricular 584 ± 179 Ω vs. 578 ± 188 Ω, atrial 534 ± 176 Ω vs. 532 ± 169 Ω) after 12 months.ConclusionsThis supports the evidence that patients with conventional pacemakers can safely undergo cranial MRI in a 1.5T system with suitable preparation, supervision and precautions. Long term follow-up did not reveal significant changes in pacing capture nor sensing threshold.
    Journal of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance 06/2014; 16(1):39. DOI:10.1186/1532-429X-16-39 · 5.11 Impact Factor