13 doctors weighed in:

Why is it unsafe for someone with a pacemaker to have an MRI scan?

13 doctors weighed in
Dr. Howard Rubin
Internal Medicine - Cardiology
6 doctors agree

In brief: Pacemaker

Magnetic field can turn off some pacemakers.

In brief: Pacemaker

Magnetic field can turn off some pacemakers.
Dr. Howard Rubin
Dr. Howard Rubin
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2 comments
Dr. Mary Callahan
MRI's interfere with the programming of the pacemakers and can cause dislodgment of the pacemaker leads.
Dr. John Garner
Magnetic fields will put pacemakers into DOO or VOO pacing modes by triggering the reed switch inside. The problems with MRI are at least 3-fold. 1) risk of electrical current induction in the circuitry of the device which can fry the electronics 2) risk of thermal induction in the leads, which are essentially inductor coils and 3) radio wave-mediated interference with the pace/sense functionality of the device. As a bonus 4th, on some models it can put the device into a noise reversion mode with programming not matching that given to the pacemaker, or trigger a "power-on reset" also affecting programmed parameters.
Dr. Michael Korona
Radiology - Interventional
3 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

But there are ways to do it safely.

In brief: Yes

But there are ways to do it safely.
Dr. Michael Korona
Dr. Michael Korona
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David Miller
Family Medicine
3 doctors agree

In brief: Most metals are bad

In the presence of the magnetic field of an mri, many metals will generate an electric current that can cause severe burns.
This would include the metal leads of the pace maker. If you have metal in your body, some other imaging technology is used instead of mri.

In brief: Most metals are bad

In the presence of the magnetic field of an mri, many metals will generate an electric current that can cause severe burns.
This would include the metal leads of the pace maker. If you have metal in your body, some other imaging technology is used instead of mri.
David Miller
David Miller
Answer assisted by David Miller, Medical Student
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