State of the science: pacemaker and defibrillator interference from wireless communication devices

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 1996 Oct;19(10):1419-30. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8159.1996.tb03154.x.


The use of wireless communication devices has increased rapidly, with current industry estimates of 50,000,000 subscribers of cellular telephone services, a number that is expected to double by the year 2000. Because wireless communication devices emit RF signals, they have the potential to interfere with implantable devices. The mechanism of interference and the magnitude of interference must be considered in terms of the type of wireless communication device being used and the characteristics of the individual implantable device that is exposed to the RF emission of the cellular phone. This article reviews the potential effects of wireless communication devices on implantable devices and makes initial recommendations for patients with implantable devices.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Defibrillators, Implantable*
  • Electromagnetic Fields / adverse effects*
  • Equipment Failure
  • Humans
  • Pacemaker, Artificial*
  • Radio Waves / adverse effects
  • Telephone*