Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock Implants State’s First Cardioverter Defibrillator Approved For Use With MRI Scans

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock is the first hospital in the state to implant an implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD) approved for use with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Patients at risk for cardiac arrhythmia or sudden cardiac arrest rely on ICDs – a device placed under the skin typically just below the collarbone on the left side of the chest – should a life-threatening event occur. The ICD continuously monitors heart rate and corrects any irregular heartbeats or the sudden loss of heart function with an electrical signal to the heart. However, until now, patients with ICDs have not been able to receive MRI scans because of potential interactions between the MRI and the ICD’s function.

“Patients with ICDs are often older adults with other serious medical conditions that require an MRI for diagnosis,” said Dr. Blake Norris, the cardiologist who performed the procedure in the EP lab at Baptist Health Medical Center-Little Rock. “We’re grateful to have this game-changing technology that helps treat cardiac arrest and enables patients to access MRIs, which allows us to provide even better care.”

The Medtronic Evera MRI ICD system is FDA approved for use during full-body MRI scans for patients at risk of sudden cardiac arrest. This means that patients who depend on life-saving ICDs also now have access to MRI scans if and when they need them.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a sudden, abrupt loss of heart function that can result in death if not treated within minutes with an electrical cardioverter shock, which can be delivered by an ICD. Many ICD patients also need access to MRIs. Studies have shown that, within four years, more than one-third (36 percent) of patients with ICDs are likely to need an MRI. An MRI is an imaging test used regularly for a wide range of diagnoses with stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and muscle, bone and back pain, all of which are prevalent among older adults.

With more than 180 access points, Baptist Health is committed to delivering All Our Best in healthcare to the people of Arkansas. For more information about the Medtronic Evera MRI ICD system, call Baptist Health HealthLine at B-A-P-T-I-S-T (227-8478).