Was told I'd get an MRI-compatible device, but didn't.

During my surgical consult, the electrophysiologist told me I'd be getting an MRI-ready device. After I came out of surgery, I was told I'd gotten the Unify Assura 3357-40Q, which is NOT MRI rated. 

When you get the wrong thing in a store or restaurant, you can send it back for the right one. Not so much when it's a device that's been implanted in your body.

Can anyone offer some insight about why he might have chosen this one instead of another? Are there any comparison charts online that address the various features of common devices?


I also wanted an MRI ICD, but then...

by CyborgMike - 2019-02-23 20:34:38

I also wanted an MRI compatible ICD, but they have only been out a few years, so there isn't much reliability data. My docs recommended the Assura 3257 for me (similar to you), given better reliability, durability, and other factors.  I have a few friends in the cardiac med device business. They did some checking and concurred with the docs. Unfortunately, there is not a consumer reports chart for ICDs that rates them -- as far as I can tell. My friends were great at giving me 20 pros/cons of different manufactures. The level of programming and the Merlin system are two big positives with St Jude. 

I don't have a regular need for an MRI, so I will wait for my next ICD to be MRI compatible, after there is more data. I wanted it to save me a few minutes in security at the airport, but so far TSA checks have only added less than five minutes to my routine. 


by Tracey_E - 2019-02-23 20:34:59

It's fine! All newer pacers and leads are considered safe for mri's now. There are some drawbacks to some of the ones specifically designated mri-safe, such as a lower upper limit. This isn't a big deal if you are sedentary, but if you are active this could limit you. I believe the leads are also larger, and small is always best with leads. 

Know that not every hospital/facility is going to be able to do an mri with a pacer, whether it's specifically mri-compliant or not. There is a protocol to follow, but it can be done safely.

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