Purpose: To assess the risk of RF-induced heating in pacemaker-attached and abandoned leads using in vitro temperature measurements at 1.5 Tesla as a function of lead length.
Materials and methods: Five custom lead lengths, 20-60 cm, were exposed to a uniform magnitude and phase radiofrequency electric field to examine the effect of lead length on pacemaker lead tip heating for pacemaker-attached and abandoned pacemaker leads.
Results: Abandoned and pacemaker-attached leads show resonant heating behavior and maximum heating occurs at different lead lengths due to the differences in termination conditions. For clinical lead lengths (40-60 cm) abandoned leads exhibited greater lead tip heating compared with pacemaker-attached leads.
Conclusion: Current recommendations for MRI pacemaker safety should highlight the possible increased risk for patients with abandoned leads as compared to pacemaker-attached leads.
Copyright © 2011 Wiley-Liss, Inc.