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Hoag Hospital performs imaging scan on a patient wearing a new MRI-compatible pacemaker

The Newport Beach-based medical facility is the first in Orange County to offer the MRI-safe device.

By Elaine MurphyPublished: November 15, 2011 07:00 AM

Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian of Newport Beach recently performed its first MRI scan on a patient wearing a new type of pacemaker, designed to withstand such scans, at its Advanced Cardiac Imaging Center. The MR-Conditional Revo MRI SureScan pacing system was developed by Minneapolis-based Medtronic and received FDA approval in February. Hoag is the first hospital in Orange County, and one of only a few on the West Coast, to offer MRI scans to patients wearing the device, and its Heart and Vascular Institute is the only Orange County medical center to implant the new pacemaker.

Patients wearing traditional pacemakers are advised not to undergo MRI scans – which offer more detail and clarity than other soft- tissue-image scans – because the technology used in the scans can interfere with or damage the pacemaker, causing it to malfunction.

The number of patients with implanted pacemakers is increasing, as is the number of patients receiving MRI scans. It is estimated that more than 250,000 people with pacemakers cannot receive an MRI. Hoag Hospital conducts more than 25,000 MRI scans annually.

Dr. Dennis Sarabi, physician advisor at Hoag’s Advanced Cardiac Imaging center, said, “We are moving into a new era in cardiology care, and Hoag is at the forefront. Technological advancements combining medical imaging and electronic implantable devices, such as pacemakers, are particularly important for the aging population. Soon there will be up to 2 million people with pacemakers in this country, most over the age of 65.”

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