Patients fitted with implantable cardiac devices—both approved and unapproved by the FDA—should steer clear of outdated MRI safety information. A recent study released by the New England Journal of Medicine found these patients are safe to undergo MRI screenings, as reported in a recent article by Cardiovascular Business.
CMS "allows only beneficiaries with 'MRI-conditional' devices—those deemed safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—to undergo the imaging test," according to Cardiovascular Business,
“Patients who have permanent pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators are often denied the opportunity to undergo MRI because of safety concerns,” said University of Pennsylvania professor Saman Nazarian, MD, PhD. “These concerns exist because of previous case reports in which appropriate protocols were not followed; while some resistance to MRI in the setting of pacemakers or ICDs exists in the cardiology and radiology communities, a main hurdle is CMS.”
As discussed in the study by Nazarian and his colleagues, the researchers advise to the millions of patients with a pacemaker or ICD system who have been told they need an MRI to contact a center that has the expertise to perform proper imaging in relation to their condition.