South Nassau Communities Hospital

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South Nassau in the Community

04/21/2011

New Pacemaker Will Not Prevent Patients from Having an MRI


People who need a pacemaker now have the option of choosing a pacemaker that will not prevent them from having a magnetic resonance imaging scan (MRI). The Revo MRI™ SureScan® pacing system, the first and only pacemaker in the U.S. specifically designed for use in a MRI environment, was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) On February 8, 2011. Patients who need the Revo pacemaker can have it implanted by electrophysiologists at South Nassau Communities Hospital’s Center for Cardiovascular Health.

Lawrence Kanner, MD, FACC, director of electrophysiology and arrhythmia services at the Center for Cardiovascular Health, said, “At the Center for Cardiovascular Health, we are steadfast in our commitment to researching and using the latest advancements in cardiology that restore cardiovascular health and wellness and enhance the quality of life of our patients.”

An estimated 200,000 pacemaker patients are barred each year from receiving an MRI exam. In 2007 the American Heart Association (AHA) issued a statement that warned doctors of the life-threatening danger of performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on pacemaker patients and advised them to order an MRI only if the need for it was compelling enough to warrant the risk. The statement was issued in response to reports that MRIs were the cause of deaths or serious damage to the heart of pacemaker patients. According to cardiologists and the AHA, the deaths and injuries were caused by either the MRI’s heating affect on the wire leads of pacemakers, which are insulated except for the exposed metal tips that screw into the heart, and/or its interference with pacemaker operation or damage to system components.

The Revo system’s hardware incorporates modifications to the device and its leads that reduce or eliminate the hazards produced by the MRI. Additionally, since MRI may cause pacemakers to misinterpret MRI-generated electrical noise and withhold or deliver unnecessary pacing therapy, the Revo includes a proprietary feature that sets the device into an appropriate mode for the MRI environment.

In addition to the Revo pacemaker, Dr. Kanner and the Center’s staff of electrophysiologists use advanced technologies to provide timely, accurate diagnoses and therapies to treat the range of cardiac arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) and defibrillator complications. Services include diagnostic studies, implantation and testing of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators, and radio-frequency catheter ablation for the treatment of potentially fatal irregular heartbeats.

The Center for Cardiovascular Health treats patients with the combination of advanced technologies and best practices and is equipped with the latest advancements in cardiac digital imaging systems. It performs a wide range of coronary and peripheral interventional procedures, including balloon angioplasty, stenting, and thrombolytic therapy. When providing balloon angioplasty in an emergency, the center consistently achieves a door-to-balloon-time of approximately 70 minutes, which is 20 minutes faster than the medically recommended door-to-balloon time benchmark of 90 minutes.

The Center’s cardiac imaging specialists are well-versed in nuclear cardiology (which generates images of the heart at work, during exercise, and at rest), echocardiogram via the trans-thoracic method (a non-invasive, highly accurate and quick assessment of the overall health of the heart in which a probe is placed on the chest wall of the patient to produce images of the heart), and transesophageal echocardiogram (which uses a specialized probe containing an ultrasound transducer at its tip that is passed into the esophagus and is used to provide clear views of areas of the heart that would be difficult to view transthoracically). Cardiac imaging services also include stress echocardiogram (which involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bicycle while the patient is monitored by technology using high-frequency sound waves that produces a graphic outline of the heart's movement, valves, and chambers) and diagnostic peripheral vascular ultrasound (noninvasive diagnostic technique used to evaluate the health of blood vessels) for patients with peripheral arterial disease.



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