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Program Information

MR Safety Update, 2012: Where Are We, and Where Are We Going?

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E Kanal

E Kanal*, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, PA

TH-D-217A-1 Thursday 11:30:00 AM - 12:30:00 PM Room: 217A

It has now been almost 3 decades since the introduction of MRI as a vital component of our clinical diagnostic armamentarium. During that time, we have learned much about the potential safety concerns relating to the static and time varying electromagnetic fields used in the MR imaging process, as well as several non-magnetic field safety issues unique to this modality.

Industry application of some of this knowledge has enabled the relatively recent FDA-approval and clinical introduction of new devices heretofore unavailable that are designed specifically to be conditionally safe in the clinical MR imaging environment. An example of such a device is a cardiac pacemaker system (i.e., pulse generator and accompanying leads) that was designed from the ground up with MR safety as an integral design objective.

Until now, patients were referred to undergo MR imaging because of an identified or suspected disease process, such as neurological or musculoskeletal pathology. This was true for almost all patients except for those with significant heart disease. For them, until recently, those whose heart disease was of such a nature that they required the implantation of a cardiac pacemakers were essentially excluded from MRI access, or were permitted careful access on a case by case basis only after intricate procedures and monitoring personnel and capabilities were established or their particular MR imaging procedure.

With the advent of MR conditional cardiac pacemaker systems, we have now just begun to embark on an era where people will not be imaged despite their having a cardiac pacemaker – but specifically because of it, as we now can finally include cardiac disease as one of the many pathologic entities for which MR imaging’s impressive diagnostic potential can finally be clinically truly applied.

This presentation will review the MR safety issues in general and present some recent clinical advances in this area in the form of new tools, new capabilities, and newly published guidelines relating to MR safety.

Consultant for Guerbet, Medtronic, Speakers Bureau for Bracco Diagnostics

Learning Objectives:

1. Define the major and minor categories of potential safety concerns in the magnetic resonance imaging environment
2. Become aware of the recent advances in, and FDA approval of, cardiac pacing systems and their safe intra-MRI utilization
3. Review some of the modifications in the recently produced “American College of Radiology Guidance Document for Safe MR Practices: 2012” and compare it to the prior 2007 version of this document.

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