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Allegheny General Hospital Cardiovascular Team Introduces New MRI Capability for Patients with Pacemakers, Implantable Defibrillators
Date:5/30/2013

Pittsburgh, PA (PRWEB) May 30, 2013

Cardiovascular imaging specialists at Allegheny General Hospital (AGH) have launched an innovative clinical protocol that for the first time in the region is allowing patients with heart pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD) to undergo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies.

One of just a handful of U.S. medical centers with the advanced capability of performing MRI on patients with implantable cardiac devices, AGH’s new program addresses a major health issue that affects many people, according to Robert Biederman, MD, Medical Director of the Cardiovascular MRI Center at AGH’s Cardiovascular Institute.

Approximately three million Americans currently have an implanted cardiac device and hundreds of thousands more receive them each year.
Though it is estimated that 50-75% of people who have a pacemaker or ICD will require an MRI during their lifetime to help physicians diagnosis disease or evaluate critical injuries, the presence of the implanted devices has historically prohibited the use of MRI as a diagnostic tool.

Dr. Biederman said the concern is that the powerful magnetic and radio frequency fields generated during MRI might damage the implanted device and harm the patient.

“So we essentially have two life-saving technologies that for decades now have been completely incompatible with each othe
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