MR-Conditional Pacemaker Means Big Changes for MR Providers

February 1, 2012 | Evaluations & Guidance


In our article on cardiac rhythm management (CRM) devices, “Without Missing a Beat,” we note that there is a pacemaker on the market that can be used in a magnetic resonance scanner. That device is the Medtronic Revo MRI SureScan pacing system. We’ve considered the impact this new technology is likely to have, and here are our findings.

At present, MR scans are contraindicated in almost all patients with CRM devices (and any other electronic implant). In fact, until recently, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) did not reimburse for MR scans on any patient with a pacemaker. (CMS recently changed its policy to provide Medicare coverage for scans of patients implanted with an FDA-approved pacemaker labeled for use in the MR environment.) The reason is that the electromagnetic radiation used by MR scanners is known to cause heating and electronic interference in the implanted device, both of which can cause serious harm to a patient. As a result, many thousands of patients have...

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