Circulation Journal
Online ISSN : 1347-4820
Print ISSN : 1346-9843
ISSN-L : 1346-9843
Clinical Investigation
Does High-Power Computed Tomography Scanning Equipment Affect the Operation of Pacemakers?
Satoshi YamajiShinobu ImaiFumio SaitoHiroshi YagiToshio KushiroTakahisa Uchiyama
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2006 Volume 70 Issue 2 Pages 190-197


Background Computed tomography (CT) is widely used in clinical practice, but there has not been a detailed report of its effect on the functioning of pacemakers. Methods and Results During CT, ECGs were recorded in 11 patients with pacemakers and the electromagnetic field in the CT room was also measured. The effect of CT on a pacemaker was also investigated in a human body model with and without shielding by rubber or lead. Transient malfunctions of pacemakers during CT occurred in 6 of 11 patients. The model showed that malfunctioning of the pacemaker was induced by CT scanning and this was prevented by lead but not by rubber. The alternating electrical field was 150 V/m on the CT scanning line, which was lower than the level influencing pacemaker functions. The alternating magnetic field was 15 μT on the CT scanning line, which was also lower than the level influencing pacemaker functions. Conclusions Malfunctions of the pacemaker during CT may be caused by diagnostic radiant rays and although they are transient, the possibility of lethal arrhythmia cannot be ignored. (Circ J 2006; 70: 190 - 197)

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