In ten years’ time all ICDs will be MRI compatible, predicts device expert

18th May 2015

An internal defibrillator designed to be MRI compatible has performed well in safety trials, the Heart Rhythm Society’s scientific sessions have been told.

It’s long been considered unsafe for people with most implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) to have MRI scans because they generate a strong magnetic field that could affect the devices and cause the wires to overheat.

MRI scan

Now a device designed to be safe for a full-body MRI has met all safety and efficacy endpoints, said Dr Michael Gold from the Medical University of South Carolina.

He predicted that about 10 years down the road all ICDs will be MRI compatible. "There's no downside to it per se. So it's hard to imagine this won't become standard of care at some point," he said.

He said the device had the same features a Medtronic Evera ICD but with hardware and firmware modifications for MRI compatibility and commercially available leads.

The study included 263 patients (median age 60.4 years) from 42 centres and 13 countries who had the MRI-compatible device.