Several of Medtronic’s neurostim devices, which use mild electrical pulses to block pain signals on their way to the brain, feature a programming option that kicks the devices into a mode that safe for an MRI environment. The implants also connect with special leads that can withstand MRI scanning.
"Delivering systems that are compatible with a full-body MRI scan means that spinal cord stimulation patients will not have to compromise when it comes to their healthcare, and they can feel secure knowing that MRI is a diagnostic option," Medtronic pain stimulation & targeted drug delivery VP and general manager Julie Foster said in prepared remarks.
Patients are generally steered away from full-body scanning for fear that their implants may be affected by the large magnets involved in an MRI, Medtronic noted.
European health regulators cleared Medtronic’s RestoreSensor SureScan MRI, PrimeAdvanced SureScan MRI, RestoreAdvanced SureScan MRI, and RestoreUltra SureScan MRI for use with full-body scanning, according to a press release.
Medtronic has been making moves in MRI-friendly implant technology, including for some of its pacemakers and drug infusion systems.
In October 2012 the company launched Japan’s 1st MRI-friendly pacemaker, the Advisa MRI SureScan.