Safety of Pacemakers and ICDs. Introduction: Electromagnetic interference with pacemaker and implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) systems may cause temporary or permanent system malfunction of implanted devices. The aim of this study was to evaluate potential interference of a novel magnetic navigation system with implantable rhythm devices.
Methods: A total of 121 devices (77 pacemakers, 44 ICDs) were exposed to an activated NIOBE II® Magnetic Navigation System (Stereotaxis, St. Louis, MO, USA) at the maximal magnetic field strength of 0.1 Tesla and evaluated in vitro with respect to changes in parameter settings of the device, changes of the battery status/detection of elective replacement indication, or alterations of data stored in the device.
Results: A total of 115 out of 121 (95%) devices were free of changes in parameter settings, battery status, and internally stored data after repeated exposition to the electromagnetic field of the remote magnetic navigation system. Interference with the magnetic navigation field was observed in 6 pacemakers, resulting in reprogramming to a power-on-reset mode with or without detection of the elective replacement indication in 5 devices and abnormal variance of battery status in one device. All pacemakers could be reprogrammed to the initial modes and the battery status proved to be normal some minutes after the pacemakers had been removed from the magnetic field.
Conclusion: Interference of a remote magnetic navigation system (at maximal field strength) with pacemakers and ICDs not connected to leads with antitachycardic detection and therapies turned off is rare. Occurring functional abnormalities could be reprogrammed in our sample. An in vitro study will give information about interference of devices connected to leads. (J Cardiovasc Electrophysiol, Vol. 21, pp. 1136-1141)