Protocol/project development: C. Edlinger, M. Lichtenauer, C. Jung, A. Pfeil. Data collection or management: V. Paar, B. Wernly, S. Eder, A. Kypta, J. Kammler. Data analysis: M. Granitz, K. Hergan, U.C. Hoppe, C. Steinwender
C. Edlinger and M. Granitz contributed equally.
Leadless pacemaker systems are an important upcoming device in clinical rhythmology. Currently two different products are available with the Micra system (Medtronic) being the most used in the clinical setting to date. The possibility to perform magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an important feature of modern pacemaker devices. Even though the Micra system is suitable for MRI, little is yet known about its impact on artifacts within the images.
The aim of our ex vivo study was to perform cardiac MRI to quantify the artifacts and to evaluate if artifacts limit or inhibit the assessment of the surrounding myocardium.
After ex vivo implantation of the leadless pacemaker (LP) in a porcine model, hearts were filled with saline solution and fixed on wooden sticks on a plastic container. The model was examined at 1.5 T and at 3 T using conventional sequences and T2 mapping sequences. In addition, conventional X‑rays and computed tomography (CT) scans were performed.
Correct implantation of the LP could be performed in all hearts. In almost all MRI sequences the right ventricle and the septal region surrounding the (LP) were altered by an artifact and therefore would sustain limited assessment; however, the rest of the myocardium remained free of artifacts and evaluable for common radiologic diagnoses. A characteristic shamrock-shaped artifact was generated which appeared to be even more intense in magnitude and brightness when using 3 T compared to 1.5 T.
The use of the Micra system in cardiac MRI appeared to be feasible. In our opinion, it will still be possible to make important clinical cardiac MRI diagnoses (the detection of major ischemic areas or inflammatory processes) in patients using the Micra system. We suggest the use of 1.5 T as the preferred method in clinical practice.