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October 2018

Expanding Access to Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Patients With Cardiac Rhythm Devices

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, California
JAMA Neurol. 2018;75(10):1173-1174. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2018.1651

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain and spine is an essential tool for confirming and tracking a wide variety of neurological conditions. The impact of MRI is reflected in studies of clinical use. For example, the use of MRI of the brain in a national sample of patients experiencing acute stroke rose from 28% of patients in 1999 to 66% in 2008.1 With advancing technology and decreasing cost, the number of MRI scanners per million people in the United States nearly doubled between 2003 and 2016.2 Despite this, certain patient populations have historically been denied access to MRI because of safety concerns. One sizable group is composed of patients with cardiovascular implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), such as pacemakers, implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs), and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices.