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Cardiac patients at Manchester Royal Infirmary become first in the UK to benefit from new technology

The cardiac team at the Manchester Heart Centre have successfully implanted the first Implantable Cardiac Defibrillator (ICD) that can be used with Magnetic Resonance Imagining (MRI) scans.  MRI uses strong magnets, radio waves and computers to take very detailed pictures of internal organs which are widely used in the management of medical conditions including cancer and joint problems.  Previously, patients with implantable devices such as pacemakers and ICDs were unable to have MRI scans because of potential damage to the heart and device so that doctors were forced to use much less detailed scans to investigate patients.

The Manchester Heart Centre, based at Manchester Royal Infirmary, implants around 250 ICD devices into patients each year.  Of these, potentially half will now receive the MRI enabled device.  The aim is that in the near future, all of the cardiac devices manufactured will have this technology.  The need for an MRI scan is one of the things we consider when deciding which device is most appropriate for the patient and to now be able to offer a device that is safe to use is one more tool available to us to improve the lives of our patients.

The first patient in the UK to benefit from the technology is 69 year old John Cochrane from Heaton Moor, Stockport.  Mr Cochrane was admitted to Manchester Royal Infirmary after collapsing at home and being transferred here after the detection of a life threatening heart rhythm.  Left untreated, his heart would have eventually gone into cardiac arrest.  The risk was felt so great that Mr Cochrane was advised that he should remain an in-patient until this device could be fitted.  By having the device fitted, should has heart rhythm become unstable, the device will detect this and deliver a small electrical charge to shock his heart back into natural rhythm.  This device also collects data and sends this directly to the team at the Manchester Heart Centre.  Should the device detect a problem, the team will contact the patient at home and ask them to attend clinic.

 

Dr Amir Zaidi, Consultant at Manchester Royal Infirmary said: "The need for an MRI scan is one of the things we consider when deciding which device is most appropriate for the patient and to now be able to offer a device that is safe to use is one more tool available to us to improve the lives of our patients."

BIOTRONIK, the company behind the technology, have been running a European study for several months into the effectiveness of the device.  The trial has been very successful and from April, the device will be released commercially, meaning that the technology will become available to all clinicians.

The device is fitted under local anaesthetic and sedation and patients are generally discharged home the next day.  If they then require an MRI scan, either for ongoing management of the cardiac condition or for an unrelated reason, it is now safe for them to do so.  Before the scan, the cardiologist will now program the device into a special ProMRI┬« setting, which prevents the MRI scanner affecting the cardiac device.