Pacemakers that are compatible with MRI machines, allowing imaging scans, have been introduced by a team of Canadian team of physicians who claim it a pioneering effort.
The powerful magnetic field caused by the scanning equipment had created problems for the pacemaker as its programmed modes ran the risk of getting changed to a higher pacing rate that the heart could not handle. And since, doctors install an average of 25,000 pacemakers in Canada, this was a significant issue that had to be addressed.
Now, Medtronic Inc. of Mississauga, Ont., has launched the Advisa MRI SureScan pacemaker that will not be affected by the magnetic field. Health Canada has passed its approval on this device, judging it to be safe for use.
Dr. Gilles O'Hara, a cardiac electrophysiologist at the Institut universitaire de cardiologie et de pneumologie de Québec, who has implanted these pacemakers in several patients, claims, "With this new device, patients will be able to benefit from all the advantages of MRI technology in a totally safe manner."