Hi all,

I just recently found out, that although new pacemakers are MRI compatible, the leads in my body are not. This has been very disappointing, since I've been dealing with horrible Vertigo for several years, and other troubling symptoms.    Any hope on the horizon for an answer, to solve this?



I was in a similar position !

by IAN MC - 2022-01-02 12:42:08

Like you, my pacemaker was fitted in 2011 and was stated to be MRI - compatible. However , there was some concern about the leads used. I was in fact given a card stating  " Leads NOT MRI safe".

I have since had 2 MRI scans on my lower back wihout any problems whatsoever . Finding a radiologist willing to do it was a problem and I had to point out  studies such as this one to convince them   ( found by a Google search )  :-


  "Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has long been considered dangerous for people who have electronic heart devices like pacemakers and defibrillators implanted in their bodies. Now, a study published online Aug. 14, 2017, by the Journal of Clinical Electrophysiology suggests the scans are safe for most people with these devices.

Until recently, most devices were not FDA-approved for MRI. They had been considered risky because it was feared that the high-strength magnetic fields used for the scanning could disrupt a pacemaker's or defibrillator's circuits. Yet, when researchers reviewed 212 MRI examinations involving 178 patients with these nonapproved devices, they did not find a single problem with how they functioned. The researchers concluded that MRI is safe for someone with a device implanted after 2000, as long as the device is checked before and after the procedure and its pacing function is monitored during the scan."


I believe that " MRI non-compatible" leads from previous pacemakers are sometimes abandoned and left in position alongside new leads so it is not a unique problem to have to perform an MRI scan on non-compatible leads.

Best of luck



MRI and pacemakers

by TAC - 2022-01-02 13:00:32

A MRI procedure is generally avoided in patients with pacemakers. There are a few exceptions in which the MRI is done following a strict specific protocol. However, intense research is being carried out to solve the problem. More modern models of Pacemakers are now able to tolerate the intense electromagnetic field caused by the MRI without suffering damage. Yet, another problem remains, the leads may heat up and cause burns in the heart. Recently, some special leads that don't get hot are being manufactured in Europe. In short, nowadays only a few MRI's are being done on a selected number of patients with PM's. Your radiologist will tell you if your PM is safe or not to undergo a MRI examination. We have to realize and accept the fact that having a life saving PM has its limitations. Changing the leads has its own risks. The MRI has to be absolutely necessary in order to justify the replacement of leads.


by ar_vin - 2022-01-02 13:23:57

The post above is an example of a "firm opinion" expressed by some one who has no real understanding of the issue at hand.

It should serve as an example of what NOT to post. @IAN MC's post is the exact opposite - he posted his own experience and how it works in practice. The other opinion is purely based on "stupid research" that any idiot who can type search terms into a browser could come up with.

Please be thoughtful and considerate before you post an "expert opinion" on a topic you of which have *NO* understanding.

Please look up Ultracrepidarianism.

"Ultracrepidarianism is the tendency for people to confidently make authoritative pronouncements in matters above or outside one's level of knowledge."

Here's a link if you have trouble searching:


by Gemita - 2022-01-02 17:32:40

It would be helpful if you could be thoughtful and considerate too before you post an opinion.  No one deserves to be called an idiot on an open forum.   It is comments like these that drive members away.  TAC has his own views and they should be respected.  There are other ways of getting your message across without resorting to nastiness.  Your contributions are valuable and you have shown kindness and respect in the past, so I was hoping we could start the New Year on a softer, more conciliatory note


by AgentX86 - 2022-01-02 17:50:58

Gee ar_vin.  I guess someone pissed in your Wheaties again this morning.  So early in the year, too, or is that one of your new year's resolutions? You told him to look up a word, then defined it for him.  That's so thoughtful. No need to do a double left-click, right-click.

There are really are/were four problems mixing MRIs and pacemakers.  First is the heating problem that TAC referred to. This has been solved by changing the lead design and material. The rest falls out of this.

The second is that no one has tested or gone through the FDA appoval process for mixed pacemaker/leads.  There is no incentive for the manufacturer's to do so, and really the opposite.

Because of #2, radiologists aren't so keen on doing the MRI and risking a lawsuit and possible loss of their license. Like #2, it doesn't make good business sense. Even with "MRI conditional" (note the word "conditional") setups, radiologists are reluctant to do MRIs and will require clearance from your cardiologist. At best. The "MRI safe" card you carry in your wallet means absolutely nothing to them (or anyone else, really). Radiologists are a conservative bunch.

That's not to say that all radiologists, everywhere, will refuse to do an MRI regardless of reason. Certainly life-threatening trauma trumps elective surgery. Insurance companies see it that way too.


This was not meant to cause anyone, any problems

by Sandra - 2022-01-02 19:42:56

Peace and love!

You didn't!

by AgentX86 - 2022-01-02 21:12:16

Your question was well within the bounds of the group.

I see it's been a while since you've been around.  I hope you stick around this time.

You know you're wired when...

You have an excuse for being a couch potato.

Member Quotes

I wouldn't be alive if it wasn't for pacemakers. I've had mine for 35+ years. I was fainting all of the time and had flat-lined also. I feel very blessed to live in this time of technology.