Full-Body MRI in Patients With an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator: Primary Results of a Randomized Study

J Am Coll Cardiol. 2015 Jun 23;65(24):2581-2588. doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2015.04.047. Epub 2015 May 14.


Background: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of patients with conventional implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICD) is contraindicated.

Objectives: This multicenter, randomized trial evaluated safety and efficacy of a novel ICD system specially designed for full-body MRI without restrictions on heart rate or pacing dependency. The primary safety objective was >90% freedom from MRI-related events composite endpoint within 30 days post-MRI. The primary efficacy endpoints were ventricular pacing capture threshold and ventricular sensing amplitude.

Methods: Subjects received either a single- or dual-chamber ICD. In a 2:1 randomization, subjects either underwent MRI at 1.5-T of the chest, cervical, and head regions to maximize radiofrequency exposure up to 2 W/kg specific absorption rate and gradient field exposure to 200 T/m/s per axis (MRI group, n = 175), or they underwent a 1-h waiting period without MRI (control group, n = 88). A subset of MRI patients underwent ventricular fibrillation induction testing post-MRI to characterize defibrillation function.

Results: In 42 centers, 275 patients were enrolled (76% male, age 60.4 ± 13.8 years). The safety endpoint was met with 100% freedom from the composite endpoint (p < 0.0001). Both efficacy endpoints were met with minimal differences in the proportion of MRI and control patients who demonstrated a ≤0.5 V increase in ventricular pacing capture threshold (100% MRI vs. 98.8% control, noninferiority p < 0.0001) or a ≤50% decrease in R-wave amplitude (99.3% MRI vs. 98.8% control, noninferiority p = 0.0001). A total of 34 ventricular tachyarrhythmia/ventricular fibrillation episodes (20 induced; 14 spontaneous) occurred in 24 subjects post-MRI, with no observed effect on sensing, detection, or treatment.

Conclusions: This is the first randomized clinical study of an ICD system designed for full-body MRI at 1.5-T. These data support that the system is safe and the MRI scan does not adversely affect electrical performance or efficacy. (Confirmatory Clinical Trial of the Evera MRI System for Conditionally-Safe MRI Access; NCT02117414).

Keywords: implantable cardioverter-defibrillator; magnetic resonance imaging.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / therapy*
  • Defibrillators, Implantable* / adverse effects
  • Electric Countershock / adverse effects
  • Electric Countershock / instrumentation
  • Electric Countershock / methods*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Internationality*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / adverse effects
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02117414