Almost in every article about MRI safety you can find that MRI for patient with a pacemaker is not suitable. However, there are conditions when a patient with pacemakercan get an MRI examination.
The MRI scanner is a tube surrounded by a giant circular magnet which creates a strong magnetic field. This magnetic field may affect any metal parts or devices in your body – including:
Whether you can get an MRI, depends on what type of device you have. Always tell the medical staff beforehand, because:
It’s important and helpful to know the type of your device. It gives your doctor all the important information he needs on whether it is possible and safe to perform an MRI scan.
When you get an implanted device such as a pacemaker or defibrillator, you receive a card identifying that device with all useful information.
The alternative to MRI is to have a CT scan instead. CT uses radiation and will not affect your pacemaker. The only problem may be a lower quality of the images. Metal on CT scan creates dense streaks that can partially obscure the images. However, if you have any metal device implanted in your body, it will be safe for you to have a CT scan.
Most heart valves and coronary artery stents currently on the market can go safely through an MRI scanner. Manufacturers have developed also some pacemakers and defibrillators that can be scanned with an MRI. However, it is always important to inform your specialist and check properly, whether is your device suited for MRI examination too.