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Aurora St. Luke's physician among first to use MRI-safe pacemaker

March 01, 2011

New technology is the first of its kind in the U.S.

Milwaukee, Wis. – Vikram Nangia, M.D., an electrophysiologist with Aurora Health Care, was among the first physicians in the region to implant a new MRI-safe pacemaker during a recent procedure at Aurora St. Luke’s Medical Center.

The new type of pacemaker, developed by Medtronic, is the first of its kind in the U.S. and is designed to address safety concerns related to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) procedures for patients with implanted pacemakers.

MRI procedures for patients with pacemakers have not been recommended because of potential complications including interference with pacemaker operation, damage to system components, or interference with the MRI scan itself leading to misinterpreted results.

“This new pacemaker by Medtronic enables patients to undergo appropriate imaging scans without any risks,” Dr. Nangia said.

In the initial procedure performed at Aurora St. Luke’s, the patient was diagnosed as having a tumor in a lung that will eventually necessitate an MRI scan. The new pacemaker implanted by Dr. Nangia will allow for a risk-free imaging scan in the future.

The number of patients with pacemakers is growing at the same time that the use of MRI procedures is increasing, according to recent reports. Medical experts estimate that there is a 50 to 75 percent probability that cardiac device patients will be need an MRI scan over the lifetime of their devices.

“Medical imaging and electronic implantable devices such as pacemakers are important technological advances, particularly for older people,” Dr. Nangia said. “My colleagues and I are proud to provide safer access to MRI scans for our patients. We encourage our patients to talk to their doctor about which pacing system is right for them.”

Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve health care quality. Aurora offers services at sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

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Contact: Adam Beeson
Phone: 414-299-1690

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