BIOTRONIK just announced that the last two generations of its cardiac resynchronization therapy defibrillators (CRT-Ds) have been approved in Europe for full body MRI scans in machines up to 1.5 Tesla. Under previous guidelines, exclusion zones had to be taken into account and avoided, preventing full body scanning in the very patients that often benefit from MRI imaging.
Importantly, the approval will allow scans of the heart while under resynchronization, letting cardiologists assess and adjust the therapy in a more nuanced way.
“This is a great development, especially in the treatment of heart failure (HF) patients, and opens diagnostic capabilities these patients were previously denied,” said Dr. Albert C. van Rossum of VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, in a statement. “CRT-Ds are commonly implanted in patients with severe heart problems, often the result of a heart attack. For the first time, we now have the opportunity to use the unique benefits of MRI to examine in depth how the heart reacts to resynchronization therapy and adjust treatments if needed. Full-body MRI including the heart during resynchronization therapy will give these patients a huge advantage, as it provides physicians much more detailed insight of their complex heart condition.”