First UK patients receive MRI-compatible pacemaker


Medtech Business has reported that a cardiac pacing system designed for safe use during magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans has been implanted in UK patients for the first time.

The Accent MRI pacemaker and Tendril MRI lead from St Jude Medical were implanted at London’s Heart Hospital by Dr Edward Rowland.

The new pacemaker and lead received CE Mark approval in April 2011 and enable the patient to undergo full-body, high-resolution MRI scans.


Approximately 46,000 UK patients receive pacemakers each year, and up to 75% of those are likely to benefit from MRI scans at some time in order to check for diseases that cannot be as effectively diagnosed with other imaging modalities.

The Accent MRI pacemaker system features an MRI Activator device that allows the pacemaker to be programmed to the appropriate MRI mode for use during the scan by a single button press, using parameters pre-set by the patient’s doctor.

Clinician Opinion

Dr Rowland commented: “Undertaking MRI scans in patients with pacemakers has previously been impossible or fraught with technical difficulties. I feel I can now advise patients that a magnetic scan can be performed without compromising the safety of the pacemaker.”

St Jude comments

“The Accent MRI compatible pacemaker has many advantages over what is currently available,” said Paul Turner, St. Jude Medical’s VP for the UK, Ireland and Canada. “It is a state-of-the-art pacemaker that offers full body scanning capability without restrictions, which is especially important to patients who may need an MRI scan in the chest and abdominal area.”

Source: Medtech Business