March 8, 2011


COLUMBIA, Tenn. — The Heart Center at Maury Regional Medical Center (MRMC) is the second hospital in Middle Tennessee to utilize a new pacemaker that allows patients to safely have magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies, according to Administrative Director of Cardiovascular Services Cathy Malone.

The first procedure using this progressive technology was conducted at the medical center on March 7 by Kevin Maquiling, M.D., an interventional cardiologist on the medical staff.

“MRI is frequently used for patients with spine and disk disease, orthopedic injuries, and vascular disease. Many of our patients have avoided MRI studies because of the potential that the imaging procedure could interfere with the effective operation of their pacemaker. It’s important to us to offer the latest technology, which gives our patients more options,” said Maquiling.

The Revo MRI SureScan pacing system by Medtronic, Inc. is the first and only pacemaker in the U.S. specifically designed for use in an MRI environment and was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in February. Prior to the Revo MRI SureScan pacing system, MRI procedures for patients with implanted pacemakers were not recommended because these patients might face serious complications, such as interference with pacemaker operation, damage to system components, lead or pacemaker dislodgement or change in pacing capture threshold.

MRI scanners may cause traditional pacemakers to misinterpret MRI-generated electrical noise and withhold pacing therapy or deliver unnecessary pacing therapy. The Revo MRI pacing system, when programmed into SureScan mode prior to an MRI scan, is designed to be used safely in the MRI environment.

The number of patients with pacemakers is growing at the same time that the use of MRI is increasing. About 40 million MRI scans are performed annually in the United States and MRMC conducts approximately 5,100 annually. MRI is often preferred by physicians because it provides a level of detail and clarity not offered by other soft tissue imaging modalities.

It has been estimated that there is a 50 to 75 percent probability that cardiac device patients will need an MRI over the lifetime of their devices. Furthermore, more than 200,000 patients annually in the U.S. have to forego an MRI scan because they have a pacemaker. The Revo MRI SureScan pacing system can help address this important unmet patient need.

“Medical imaging and electronic implantable devices such as pacemakers are important technological advances,” said Malone. “Maury Regional is proud to provide patients safer access to MRI. We encourage our patients to talk to their doctor about which pacing system is right for them.”