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Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients with Implanted Cardiac Pacemakers and Defibrillators

Magnetic resonance imaging is a useful diagnostic test for patients with various kinds of medical problems. In the past, MRI was not allowed in patients with implanted cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators. Thanks to the research efforts of several physicians and researchers, including those at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, MRI can now be safely performed in many patients with implanted cardiac devices. More than 300 patients with implanted pacemakers and defibrillators have safely undergone MRI at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where this procedure is now considered the standard of care.

Patients with implanted cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators who need an MRI procedure must have their device fully tested and reprogrammed to MRI-safe settings before entering the MRI room. During the procedure, the patient’s EKG is continuously monitored by a doctor or nurse who has been specially trained in both MRI safety and cardiac device management. Following the MRI, the pacemaker or defibrillator is retested to ensure that no damage to the device occurred during the MRI procedure, and the patient’s original device settings are restored.

Please contact the scheduling office to arrange an MRI for a patient who has a pacemaker or ICD.