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Banner Heart Hospital testing pacemaker designed to allow patients to receive MRIs


Access to MRIs for patients with pacemakers could be major advancement
MESA, AZ (March 20, 2014) – Banner Heart Hospital is involved in a research study of a new investigational pacemaker, designed to be compatible with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) equipment, which has the potential to drastically improve the care doctors can provide to patients.

Currently, most patients implanted with a pacemaker system are denied an MRI scan as the magnetic field of an MRI scanner may seriously harm the pacemaker’s ability to function. But this new technology -- the “ImageReady” MR Conditional pacing system -- is designed to allow patients to receive an MRI, which can provide clear images of organs and tissues without the use of radiation. An MRI scan can evaluate the structure of the heart and aorta, where it can detect aneurysms or tears, allowing physicians to make informed decisions about patient treatment and care.

“One of the limitations for patients receiving pacemakers has been the inability to undergo MRI imaging, especially of the chest organs,” said Dr. Andrew Kaplan, cardiologist/electrophysiologist at Banner Heart Hospital. “This new technology has the potential to allow the most powerful MRI imaging to be conducted over the entire body. Smaller pacing leads with a long-lived device will also be a tremendous asset to our patients.”

Today roughly three million people worldwide have pacemakers, according to the American Heart Association. Pacing systems are designed to treat a heart condition called bradycardia  that causes the heart to beat too slowly, depriving the body and brain of blood flow and enough oxygen.

The ImageReady pacing system, made by Boston Scientific, is also designed to improve the way the pacemaker works with the heart compared to systems currently available.

For more information about this research study, please call (480) 854-5213.

Banner Heart Hospital is ranked among the Phoenix area’s “Best Hospitals” by U.S. News & World Report. The hospital’s emergency heart services, in conjunction with Banner Baywood Medical Center, received Chest Pain Center accreditation in 2011. Services at Banner Heart Hospital include open heart surgery, vascular care, interventional cardiology, heart failure and heart rhythm treatment, women’s heart care and cardiac rehabilitation. For more information, visit


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