Magnetic resonance imaging in patients with recently implanted pacemakers

Hannah L. Friedman, Nancy Acker, Connie Dalzell, Win K. Shen, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Yong Mei Cha, David Hodge, Joel Felmlee, Robert Watson, Paul A. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


Background Recent studies have shown that magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of patients with pacemakers can be safely performed under careful monitoring, but they excluded patients with recently implanted devices. Patients with recent implants may be at a greater risk for complications during MRI imaging due to lack of lead and wound maturity. Methods We implemented a clinical protocol for MRI imaging of patients with implanted cardiac devices, and prospectively collected data. For this study, we retrospectively analyzed two groups of patients: those with recently implanted (≤42 days) and nonrecently implanted (>42 days) leads at the time of MRI scanning. All devices were interrogated before and after scanning, and were reprogrammed during the scan as per protocol. Results Of the 219 scans (in 171 patients), eight included patients with recently implanted (range: 7-36 days) and 211 with only nonrecently implanted pacemaker leads. During the scan, there were no complications in the early or late group. In one patient imaged 79 days postimplant, frequent premature ventricular complexes were noted during the scan, requiring no action. No patient reported pain during or immediately after the procedure. No clinically significant changes in function were seen at subsequent follow up (average 104 days post-MRI). Compared to patients with nonrecently implanted leads, there was no difference in any parameter between the two groups. Conclusions With a strong clinical indication and with careful monitoring, MRI imaging is feasible in patients with recently implanted pacemakers, although experience is limited.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1090-1095
Number of pages6
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2013


  • cardiac pacemaker
  • magnetic resonance imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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