Tuality Healthcare pioneers MRI scans for pacemaker patients

Pacemakers and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans traditionally go together like oil and water. Not anymore. Tuality Healthcare is the first hospital in the Portland metropolitan area with a diagnostic imaging staff certified to perform MRI scans for patients who have a Medtronic Revo MRI SureScan pacing system.

Patients with traditional pacemakers cannot undergo MRI scans because of potential heart tissue damage or interference with the pacing circuitry. Magnetic fields from an MRI scan can interact with the circuitry causing pacemaker failure or malfunction. The new Medtronic pacing system’s circuit design is immune to magnetic interference. The pacemaker’s leads have also been engineered to mitigate heat around the heart tissue making it safe for MRI.

Tuality Healthcare is the first hospital in the metropolitan area to implant these pacemakers and perform this specialized scanning. “From a medical standpoint, it’s a huge breakthrough because patients who previously needed an MRI could not get one,” said Dr. Vincent Reyes, a cardiologist affiliated with Tuality Healthcare. MRI scans use powerful magnetic fields to produce highly detailed images of internal structures within the human body. Physicians use this technology to diagnose cancer, stroke, muscle injuries, bone disorders and other diseases.

This revolutionary new technology is the first MRI-safe device approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Tuality Healthcare is registered as an MR Imaging Center on the Medtronic website, and Tuality imaging staff are certified to safely scan patients with this new pacing technology. Medtronic certification means staff members have trained in specific FDA specifications and requirements to safely scan patients with the Revo pacing system.

Cathleen Dehen of Portland has this pacing system, and was the second patient to have an MRI scan at Tuality Healthcare. “I finally got my MRI, now I can go to the doctor and find out what is wrong with my knee,” said Dehen about her MRI experience.

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