Prostate MRI

I have an MRI approved pace maker but my leads are 16 years old and not MRI compatible  

I have been diagnosed by a 12 core biopsy with 2 cores showing "precursor" cancer cells. 
                                                                             My urologic oncologist has recommended an MRI guided  biopsy to obtaine a more conclusive analysis to help further treatment  options  including watchfull waiting. 

Two questions.                                                            1. Has any of you guys had an MRI with non-compatible leads?

2. Being that the prostate is a  distance from the pace maker leads, would an MRI  be safe in my situation?

Any comments would be appreciated. 
                   Thanks,                                                                                        Rodger



We do have a member who has successfully had two MRIs with old leads

by Gemita - 2023-11-14 20:28:46

Dear Rodger, I am sorry you are having to face this problem.  It is such a difficult question to answer.  There is a member here in the UK and I hope he will see your post and respond, who has had two MRI scans on his back with older, incompatible leads.  It went okay apparently except I think he felt some “overheating”.  

The risk of the leads overheating can be a concern, but I feel if you go to a centre of expertise where they do plenty of these procedures and providing you have a cardiac technician check the device before, during and after the procedure and its pacing function is closely monitored during the scan you should be okay.  The problem will be finding a radiologist prepared to do it but in a main centre where they carry out lots or procedures, it should be possible.

I hope you can safely get this important procedure so that your doctor will know how best to proceed.  Good luck

I think I am that UK member

by IAN MC - 2023-11-16 07:03:25

Hi Rodger

As Gemita said in her accurate summary of my experience :-

I did have the same PM  as yourself, the Medtronic Advisa which was marketed as being MRI-compatible. However at implant in 2011 I was specifically warned that the leads were " NOT MRI-safe"   In fact that was written on my PM card.

So I was quite apprehensive when I had an MRI scan done on my lower spine. One of the senior pacemaker technicians put the PM into safe mode prior to he procedure and restored it to normal settings afterwards.

I survived the process and have  since had 3 more MRI scans , with my repacement Medtronic Azure PM and the same  " believed to be unsafe " leads. Two of those scans were on my lower spine and one was of the brain.

Like your prostate, my spinal MRI target site was anatomically distant from the pacemaker which the radiologist found to be re-assuring.

During the first scan I was aware of a warming affect  in my upper body ( but I MAY  have been imagining it with my fear of being fried from the inside ! ). Other than that, the whole process was uneventful

I hope you find a radiologist who is willing to do it. Mine believed that early worries re pacemakers and MRI scans were "over-stated"


Prostate Biopsy

by Rch - 2023-11-18 03:35:53

Hi Rodger

I have had several prostate biopsies over the years with results that were interpreted differently by different pathologists! The prostate biopsy interpretations are somewhat subjective and could lead to unnecessary imaging and surgeries. I strongly urge you to get a second opinion on the biopsies. We don't know your PSA nor Gleason score but at the age of 81 and with 'precancerous' cells, I believe your prognosis is very good. Our risk of dying is higher with CV disease than prostate cancer at our stage. I, myself was on active surveillance for about 8 years and now watchful waiting! I'm 78 now. Please discuss the risks vs benefits of MRI and invasive work up with your Urologist. As to second opinion, I always obtained them from John's Hopkins Urology dept! Turn around time is less than a week!

Wish you well!!



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