HUMBLE, TEXAS (May 10, 2011)

Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital is the first in the Northeast Houston area to implant a Revo MRI SureScan pacing system, the first MR-Conditional pacing system designed, tested and FDA-approved for use in the Magnetic Resonance Imaging environment.

Prior to the Revo MRI SureScan, MRI procedures for patients with implanted pacemakers were not recommended because these patients could face serious complications, including interference with pacemaker operation, damage to system components, lead dislodgement, change in pacing capture threshold or change in pacemaker settings.

"Medical imaging and electronic implantable devices such as pacemakers are important technological advances, particularly for older people," said Ping Wong, MD, a cardiologist at Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital who already has performed two Revo MRI SureScan implants. "This technology allows us to provide safer access to MRI for our patients with pacemakers."

Developed by Medtronic, the Revo MRI SureScan is the first pacing system of its kind in the United States. It was designed to address safety concerns around MRI procedures for patients who have implanted pacemakers. MRI scanners may cause traditional pacemakers to misinterpret MRI-generated electrical noise and withhold pacing therapy, or deliver unnecessary pacing therapy.

The number of patients with pacemakers is growing at the same time that the use of MRI is increasing. About 40 million MRI scans are performed annually in the United States each year. MRI is often preferred by physicians because it provides a level of detail and clarity not offered by other soft tissue imaging modalities.

It has been estimated that there is a 50 to 75 percent probability that cardiac device patients will be indicated for an MRI over the lifetime of their devices. In addition, more than 200,000 patients annually in the United States must forego an MRI scan because they have a pacemaker, according to data collected by Medtronic.