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Revista de la Sociedad Española del Dolor

versión impresa ISSN 1134-8046


MESA-DEL-CASTILLO, C. et al. Safety of magnetic resonance in patients with implanted spinal cord neurostimulators: Our experience. Rev. Soc. Esp. Dolor [online]. 2006, vol.13, n.7, pp.475-480. ISSN 1134-8046.

Aims: Over the past decade, nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) has been introduced as a safe, non-invasive routine clinical diagnostic tool. However, its use has been contraindicated in patients with implanted electronic devices, such as motor cortex and spinal cord neurostimulators. Despite the rapid growth in neurostimulation technology and its clinical application, there have been few studies addressing the safety of performing MRI procedures in patients with implanted neurostimulators. Our hypothesis is that MRI is a safe diagnostic technique in patients with implanted neurostimulators. The aim of our study is to offer some objective proof towards this point. Methods: Eight patients with implanted neurostimulators (ITRELL III Model 7425, Medtronic) undergoing 9 MRI procedures (1,5 T General Electric Sigma Excite) in 2005 are presented, following the Liem van Dongen´s protocol, with a focus in the appearance of adverse effects, during and immediately after the imaging study. Results: During the MRI studies there were no overall adverse effects detected in any case, in those in which the scanning was performed on a location away from the site of the implanted neurostimulators, nor in those in which it was performed in the same anatomic region. Once the MRI study concluded, no patient reported any sensation of discomfort attributable to heating or the electromagnetic interaction of the MRI with the neurostimulators. Neither there was any failure in the neurostimulators rescheduling, except in one case in which it was impossible its reprogrammation once the study was completed. Conclusions: In general, all these investigations indicate that in most cases MRI can be performed safely in patients with implanted stimulators, following the Liem van Dongen´s protocol, but it seems that under some circumstances this recommendation is not completely reliable. In the case of our patient in which the neurostimulator was impossible to reschedule after the MRI, this may have been caused by a battery failure, or there could have been a breakup in the generator’s electronic circuit. As the generator could not be examined, a hypothesis about the train of events leading to its failure was not established. In any case more studies are desirable to reliably explain the safety conditions required for the performance of MRI in patients with implanted neurostimulators.

Palabras clave : magnetic resonance imaging/adverse effects; neuroestimulators.

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