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St. Luke’s University Health Network Now Offering New FDA Implantable Device to Treat Sudden Cardiac Arrest
October 02, 2015

Device is approved for use with MRI Scans Averting Potential Risk

(September 24, 2016 – Bethlehem, PA) – St. Luke’s University Health Network is the first in the region to offer patients new FDA-approved technology to treat sudden cardiac arrest. The technology is an implantable cardioverter defibrillator device (ICD) approved for use with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Many patients rely on ICDs to detect irregular heartbeats and deliver life-saving therapy to restore a normal heartbeat. However, until now, patients with ICDs have not been able to receive MRI scans because of the potential interactions between the MRI and the device function, which can likely cause the device to malfunction.

“St. Luke’s is committed to providing our region’s patients with leading-edge technology giving them options toward achieving better health. Patients who can benefit from this new ICD are generally older and have other health conditions that require MRI scans, says Steven Stevens, MD, electrophysiologist with St. Luke’s Heart & Vascular Center. “We’re very excited to continue the trend of offering patients innovative technology enabling us to provide even better care.”

Patients suffering from abnormally rapid heart rhythm, or tachycardia, are at an increased risk for sudden cardiac arrest or death. An ICD is a small implantable device that is placed under the skin typically just below the collarbone on the left side of the chest. The ICD continuously monitors the heart rate and delivers an electrical signal to correct a life-threatening heart rate, if detected.

MRI scans are used to diagnosis a wide range of conditions including stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and musculoskeletel issues which are prevalent among older adults.

The Evera MRI™ SureScan© ICD System from Medtronic has been FDA approved to allow for MRI scans on any part of the body. The system includes design enhancements from previous generation devices that allow it to safely undergo full-body MRIs, while maintaining the same longevity, proven shock reduction and physical size and shape of the original Evera ICD. The device is paired with the Sprint Quattro® Secure MRI SureScan® DF4 leads, backed by more than 10 years of proven performance with active monitoring,[1] now tested for safe use during an MRI.

“Roughly thirty percent of the population will need an MRI. For years we have been implanting patients with MRI compatible pacemakers but did not have the technology for the defibrillators. It’s a great option for any patient since there aren’t any risk factors associated with this technology compared to other ICDs,” adds Stevens.

For more information about the Evera MRI ICD system or St. Luke’s Heart & Vascular Center, please visit heart.sluhn.org.

About St. Luke’s

The St. Luke’s University Health Network has achieved the impressive status of being recognized by Truven Health Analytics as among the 50 best cardiovascular hospitals in the United States six times (1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2012, and 2014). The physicians and staff of the Heart & Vascular Center are dedicated to diagnosing, treating and preventing heart disease and the number one health issue in America. The specially trained physicians and staff, combined with the state-of-the-art diagnostics and evidence-based treatment guidelines, are centered on providing the best care for patients. St. Luke’s has the distinguished honor of being the first certified Chest Pain Center in the region, the lowest mortality index for heart disease and heart surgery patients in the region and the highest rating for quality of cardiac surgery from the Society of Thoracic Surgeons.

[1] Medtronic Product Performance Report, 2012 Second Edition, Issue 66.