First US patients undergo full-body MRI scans with Biotronik DX system technology

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Biotronik has announced that the first device patients to undergo full-body magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in the United States have been implanted with the Biotronik DX system. The first investigational scan occurred on Monday 7 July 2014 at St Mary Medical Center in Langhorne, Pennsylvania.

The unique Biotronik DX implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) system is the first and only defibrillator system to provide physicians with the complete diagnostic capabilities of a dual-chamber ICD, including atrial sensing and advanced proven shock reduction algorithms, with only a single lead. Biotronik introduced DX technology to the USA in 2013.


“In most cases, it is difficult for electrophysiologists to accurately predict whether their patients will require diagnostic procedures like MRI in the future,” says Rafael E Pena, the Arrhythmia Institute, Newtown, Pennsylvania, who performed the ICD implant on the first patient to undergo a full-body MRI scan at St Mary Medical Center. “Implanting ICDs with the option for MRI allows me to expand their access to this technology when they need it.”


“Frequently, patients with defibrillators need diagnostic imaging with MRI, and until now the safety of MRI imaging in those patients was questioned,” says Thomas Crawford, assistant professor, University of Michigan Health System, and a principal investigator of the ProMRI study. “MRI Conditional defibrillators are a major advance in cardiac devices.”


The Biotronik ProMRI study consists of a series of ground-breaking MRI compatibility trials. Phase A resulted in FDA approval of Entovis pacemaker systems for MRI scans with an exclusion zone. Phase B expanded the trial for pacemakers with full-body scans, including cardiac and thoracic spinal scans, and is nearing completion. Now, Phase C incorporates Iforia ICD systems into the list of devices being investigated for full-body MRI scans, including the DX system.


These first US ICD patients receiving full-body scans are among several hundred who are already included in the ongoing study. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the ProMRI study expansion to full-body scans for Iforia ICD and DX device systems on 21 May, 2014.

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