In March, Winthrop-University Hospital became the first hospital on Long Island to implant a new pacing system, an MRI-safe pacemaker, in a cardiac patient. Todd Cohen, MD, Director of Electrophysiology and the Pacemaker/Arrhythmia Center at Winthrop, who completed the procedure, was also a Lead Investigator in the clinical trials that resulted in FDA approval of the device earlier this year.
“We are very excited about being able to offer this device and technology here at Winthrop,” said Dr. Cohen. “This new pacemaker device will be revolutionary to the management of chronic diseases in the future.”
Unlike traditional pacemakers, this pacing system, the Revo MRITM SureScan®, is safe for patients who may need MRIs in the future. Prior to this cardiac pacing system, patients with implanted pacemakers were not recommended to have any MRI procedures because of potential risks. Previously, patients might face serious complications if these two technologies were combined. Dangers include interference with pacemaker operation, damage to pacemaker system components, lead or pacemaker dislodgement or change in pacing capture threshold. The new MRI-safe pacemaker is the first device to enable patients with pacemakers to also undergo safe MRIs.
The patient who received the first implant on Long Island, a 58-year-old woman, was an ideal candidate for this kind of pacemaker. “The patient is a relatively young woman who will probably need a number of pacemakers in her life, and she will likely need a number of MRIs due to the wear and tear of everyday life,” said Dr. Cohen.
As a Principal Investigator, Dr. Cohen, along with Winthrop- University Hospital’s Douglas Katz, MD, FACR, Vice Chairman of Clinical Research and Education, Department of Radiology, and Director of Body Imaging, played a key role in the FDA trial that led to the approval of this device. Additionally, Winthrop was the only Hospital on Long Island to participate in the trial, which involved the placement and evaluation of the device.
“Pacemakers are very important devices for treating slow heart rhythm problems,” said Dr. Cohen. “And many people with slow heart rhythm problems will, at some point in their life, require an MRI. Whether they have a stroke, a brain injury, or they need their hip evaluated, an MRI is often the diag - nostic treatment of choice.”
The number of patients in need of MRI scans increases each year, as does the number of people with implanted cardiac devices. Each year approx imately 30 million MRI scans are performed in the U.S. and 320,000 Americans receive a pacemaker. Furthermore, an estimated 200,000 patients in the U.S. forego an MRI scan each year because they have a pacemaker.
The Pacemaker/Arrhythmia Center at Winthrop-University Hospital is a state-of-the-art facility that offers cutting- edge services with highly skilled clinical cardiac electrophysiologists who specialize in the entire range of heart rhythm diagnostic and therapeutic procedures. The Center offers both inpatient and outpatient services.
To learn more about the Revo MRI SureScan pacing system offered at Winthrop or Winthrop’s Pacemaker/ Arrhythmia Center, call 1-866- WINTHROP.
Vol. 21, No. 2
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