Transesophageal cardiac pacing during magnetic resonance imaging: Feasibility and safety considerations

M. B.M. Hofman, C. C. De Cock, J. C. Van der Linden, A. C. Van Rossum, F. C. Visser, M. Sprenger, N. Westerhof

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19 Citations (Scopus)


The feasibility and safety of transesophageal cardiac pacing during clinical MRI at 1.5 Tesla is considered. An MRI compatible pace catheter was developed. In vitro testing showed a normal performance of the pulse generator, image artifacts that extended less than 11 mm from the catheter, and a less than 5% increase in noise. Cardiac stimulation induced by MRI was not observed and, theoretically, is not expected. Potentially, tissue around the catheter tip may become heated. This heating (ΔT) was monitored. Eight dogs were exposed to MRI during pacing. For low RF radiation exposure, a time-averaged squared B1 field below 0.08 pT2 (SAR < 0.03 W/kg), ΔT was below 1°C. For high RF radiation exposure, but at normal RF radiation specific absorption rate (0.4 W/kg), ΔT was 5°C. Thus, transesophageal atrial pacing during MRI at low RF exposure seems to be possible to perform cardiac stress studies or to correct unstable heart rates.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
Number of pages10
JournalMagnetic resonance in medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1996


  • cardiac pacing
  • heating effects
  • magnetic resonance imaging
  • safety

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