Medtronic began the evaluation of its EnRhythm® MRI SureScan™ pacer, a technology designed for safe use in MRI machines, “under specified scanning conditions.” The company did not disclose what these specified scanning conditions are.
There’s a copy of the press release, too. I assume that certain kinds of scans are off-limits, like diffusion imaging. Eddy currents are probably the major concern. The press release does mention,
The EnRhythm MRI SureScan pacemaker includes modified hardware to minimize the level of energy transmitted through the lead/device connection point. The pacemaker also includes a new SureScan™ feature that can be programmed “on” before an MRI scan to eliminate the impact of MRI-generated electrical noise, which can prevent necessary pacing therapy or cause the device to oversense and deliver unnecessary pacing therapy. When the SureScan feature is on, the device’s data collection and monitoring functions are temporarily suspended, while allowing the device to continue providing asynchronous pacing if needed.
Imagine the future of this technology… what would be truly cool would be a pacemaker than can be interfaced to the scanner directly, so that pacing can be synchronized with the pulse sequence itself.