Retained Lead Fragments and MRI

Hi all,

I have a question on whether having a retained lead fragment from a prior lead extraction is a contraindication for MRI scans.  I had to get my left ventricular lead replaced two years ago but during the extraction process the lead broke twice.  They were able to get most of the lead out,  but ending up abandoning a ca. 5 mm long ring electrode on the wall of the vein going to my heart.  This electrode is made out of a Platinum/Iridium alloy.  They succesfully got another left lead installed. Yea.  

I sustained a right knee injury last fall.  My orthopedic doc. thinks I tore my ACL, and has ordered an MRI for this.  My pacing system is "mixed" leads from two manufacturers so it is not MRI conditional.  I have to schedule the MRI at a specialist center as a result.  The assistant I spoke to there said that retained lead fragments are generally exclusion criteria for an MRI,  but that they'd look at the chest x-ray before making a final determination.

Have any of you been in this situation and what was the outcome?  Were you able to get the MRI even with some extra shrapnel in there?




Can Pacemaker patients have an MRI

by Onmy6th - 2020-03-02 04:07:48

I don't understand why anyone thinks it is safe for you to have an MRI.  Do you still have a pacemaker?  Do you still have metal lead bits somewhere in your vessels or heart?  You need a serious opinion from some very professional cardiac and pacemaker specialists and not a patient on a forum.  I am very concerned that anyone thinks this is safe.  I have been told we shouldn't be anywhere near an MRI machine, period. I have worn a PM since 1994 and am on my 6th one.  I wish you the best.  Please tell me you are having your heart work done at a top level medical clinic.  

Retained Lead Fragments and MRI

by IPGENG12 - 2020-03-02 19:38:08

Not to worry- my MRI is being reviewed by a cardiology and radiology team at a large teaching hospital closeby where I live.  I fully expect that they will come to the conclusion that it's not worth the risk.



Retained Lead Fragments and MRI

by IPGENG12 - 2020-03-03 19:14:57

Well, the verdict came back on whether I could have an MRI with the small retained lead fragment.  The answer is "NO".  No MRI's for me from here on out!

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