St Jude launches Accent MRI pacemaker in Australia


St Jude Medical announced the Australian launch of the Accent MRI pacemaker and Tendril MRI lead. The new pacemaker and lead allow patients to undergo full-body, high-resolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans to accommodate patients’ current and future medical needs.

According to a company release, each year approximately one million pacemakers are implanted worldwide, and it is estimated that up to 75% of pacemaker patients could benefit from MRI scans during the lifetime of their devices. The new Accent MRI pacemaker system is an advanced pacing platform that provides wireless telemetry and algorithms to address individual patient conditions, with the added benefit of MRI conditional scanning capability.

“Undertaking MRI scans in patients with pacemakers has been associated with risks and therefore could rarely be performed. With the release of the St Jude Medical Accent MRI technology, patients receiving these devices can be confidently advised that a magnetic scan can be performed without compromising their safety or affecting these pacemakers. This is a great advance for patients requiring pacemakers,” said John Hayes, electrophysiologist at St Andrews War Memorial Hospital, Brisbane, Australia.

The system features an MRI Activator device that provides a simple alternative option for programming the device to the appropriate MRI mode for use during the scan. A single button press on the handheld MRI Activator device can be used to program the specific device parameters to be used during the MRI scan. These parameters are pre-selected by the patient’s physician and stored in the Accent MRI pacemaker.

Built on the proven Tendril lead platform, the pacing lead offers unique design advantages for safe, MRI-conditional scanning. The thin diameter makes it easier for physicians to implant, as it retains the handling characteristics of the well established Tendril platform of pacing leads. In addition, the lead features Optim lead insulation, the first silicone-polyurethane co-polymer material created specifically for cardiac lead use. The Optim insulation is designed for long-term reliability, while providing physicians with better flexibility and handling to facilitate device implantation.

“The Accent MRI pacemaker has many advantages over what is currently available in Australia. It is a state-of-the-art pacemaker that offers full body, high-resolution scanning capability without restrictions, which is especially important to patients who may need an MRI scan in the chest and abdominal area,” said David Jolly, country manager of Australia for St Jude Medical. “We are very pleased to offer this innovative technology to St Andrews War Memorial Hospital as well as other hospitals throughout the country.”