It is generally recommended that patients with a pacemaker should not undergo an MRI scan. This is because the magnetic field may result in a change in the function of the programming of the device and lead to a potential pacemaker malfunction. There is also a risk that heat may be generated at the tips of the leads resulting in damage to the heart. Certain highly experienced units may perform an MRI in a patient with a pacemaker under very close medical supervision although this depends on the relative importance of the scan. A new type of MRI compatible pacemaker is now being produced and will be available for clinical use in the near future. Most current pacemakers are not MRI compatible.
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