MRI Conditional v. MRI Safe
My Experience with the MRI Conditional Project
- Have the patient's cardiac physician or cardiac nurse go to the MRI center, lugging their device programmer with them, change the settings on the patient's device to those that are MRI compatible, wait for the scan to complete, reset the settings to normal and examine the patient to insure that the patient is OK.
- Have the settings changed remotely. The patient is at the MRI center, the cardiac professional is in the office, at the hospital or at home. This is known as "remote programming." At the time this was something that the FDA did not allow. Using remote programming, the patient's device communicates wireless to a pacemaker communicator located at the MRI center. The cardiac professional sees a 30 second rhythm strip before setting the patient's device to the MRI settings and sees another 30 second rhythm strip after the changes have been made. (Just like an onsite cardiac professional would do.) The patient undergoes the scan. During that time, the professional can perform other tasks. Once the scan is complete, the cardiac profession changes the pacemaker settings back to normal and sees the before and after rhythm strips.
- The pacemaker is programmed with two settings by the cardiac professional using the programmer. The first set of settings define the normal operation of the pacemaker. The second set are the MRI settings: that is, the settings of the pacemaker when the patient undergoes an MRI scan. When the pacemaker patient goes to the MRI center, the MRI tech takes a wand (that's best way I can describe it.) and changes the settings from normal to MRI. Once the patient completes the MRI scan, the MRI tech uses the wand to change the patient's setting back to normal.