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MRI Safety and Stents

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Is your cardiovascular stent Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) safe? Not all stents are alike-- some are MRI safe, and some are not. Whether it is safe to have an MRI depends on a number called the "Tesla strength" of your make and model of stent.

Do you have questions about or experiences with stenting and MRI safety? Read the comments to learn how patients in similar situations are finding treatment solutions, and support the community by sharing your story.

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Current Postings on This Page (114):

• LM in Philadelphia - If your grandmother had an angioplasty done in 1994, the likelihood of her having had a stent placed is relatively low, but we certainly could not rule it out. The first stents were approved by the FDA in 1993 and 1994, so stent placement was not routine, unlike today where 90% or more of angioplasties involve stents. A CT Angiogram is a non-invasive test that most likely would show a stent. If there was a stent, it probably would be a Palmaz-Schatz bare metal stent which, according to Dr. Frank Shellock's web site, MRISafety.com, is safe for MRI imaging if the Tesla strength is 1.5
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 26, 2014

• Urgent question: my grandmother is from Florida and is visiting PA. She had angioplasty done in 1994 and 5 bypass in 1996. There has never been mention of her having stents. She is in the hospital in PA. They can not determine if she had a stroke. They want to do an MRI but will not until we have more information on if she stents or not. All the medical records are archived so it will take days to receive. IS there any test or imaging that can be done to determine if she has a stent? We do not think she has one but they will not complete the MRI. This is urgent.
LM, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, July 25, 2014

• Nate on Georgia - We do not have the specialized expertise on this matter but would suggest you check out Dr. Frank Shellock's web site, MRISafety.com. He has done a significant amount of work in this area and you might find some resources there.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 17, 2014

• I am a MRI Tech. I follow the traditional guideline that most stents are safe especially in the more current years under 3T. I'm working on an open unit at .3 T (low field) but unlike 1.5 or 3T horizontal field, the open is a vertical field. My radiologist has raised concern that stents may not be safe on these low field open magnets because of it being a vertical vs horizontal magnet field. Help!!!! Do you think these stents are safe on the open low fields?
Nate, Georgia, USA, March 12, 2014

• Larry in Missouri - According to the MRI Safety database, compiled by Dr. Frank Shellock, the Palmaz-Schatz stent you are describing is MRI safe at a setting of 1.5 Tesla.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 20, 2013

• I had a J&J Palmaz-Schatz stent place in my Right Coronary Artery in 1996. I need an MRI on my spine. Are there any Problems or Precautions that I should be aware of??? Product Code is PS1535X2.....I can find no info on it and the implanting Physician is long retired.
Larry, Missouri, USA, December 12, 2013

• SuzyQ - The BX Sonic is basically the bare metal version of the Cypher stent. MRISafety gives it a "conditional5" rating for Tesla strength 3.0.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 10, 2013

• What tesla strength is approved for a Cordis BX Sonic Balloon-Expandable Stent from 2002? I have not been able to find information specific to this stent on the MRISafety website. I do believe it is a bare metal stent. Thank you
SuzyQ, California, USA, October 26, 2013

• I am a neurosurgery resident of Bsmmu Bangladesh. I've a patient of suspected spinal pathology with a history of coronary stenting(2) in 2006. But the brand of stent & MRI compatibility of the stent is not known. We want to do MRI of whole spine. What can we do now?
BSMMU, Dhaka, Bangladesh, August 24, 2013

• mrichic in Georgia - if you look at the MRI Safety database, compiled by Dr. Frank Shellock, you'll see that different stents have different tolerances vis-a-vis MRI. Mostly the older generation, which tend to have a greater amount of metal, need a lower Tesla strength scan. If the patient does not have a card, it may be possible to make an educated guess by getting a date for the stent placement. For the U.S., prior to 2003, stents were bare metal. From 2003-2008, stents were 1st generation drug-eluting stents, most likely Taxus or Cypher. From 2008 to the present, the 2nd generation stents were available, either Promus, Xience, Taxus Liberte, Endeavor, or Resolute.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 10, 2013

• As an MRI tech, I was wondering about scanning patients with heart stents with no info cards. In reading this forum, I feel that is info is vital and a patient should not be scanned till stent is identified. Would this be an accurate assumption on my part?
mrichic, Tifton, Georgia, USA, August 8, 2013

• Massachusetts - This topic is about MRI and stents. You don't mention if you have a stent but your post sounds like you are having problems outside this topic area. You should discuss the adverse effects you're experiencing with your doctor.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 16, 2013

• hi I think you are my last hope. I had an MRI on Wednesday 3/27/13 for my shoulder. I had bin taking medications for week before list ( 65 mg iron 325 mg ferrous sulfate) and (ic naproxen 500mg ) and (ic cyclobenzaprine 10 mg ) and ( tramadol hcl 50 mg ) and (ic omeprazole dr 20mg ) and (ic atorvastatin 80 mg) and (nitrostat 0.3 mg mix) resulting impacted stool . I weight 200lbs the MRI was for my shoulder they wrap a strap around my waist to hold square lead to my shoulder and put towels on my side so wouldn't get burned and put me in the tube I may have crossed my legs when the machine went on I felt intense heat in my belly area and eyes pressed button to get out. I told them what I felt. the said they didn't know what I meant . its gotten worse my vision changed and I cant eat or drink and have terrible gas pains they think I'm nuts . I think I had internal (rf) heating from the crossed legs and the meds with the iron . I also had a nessin surgery in 1993 is this possible? I was fine till I had the MRI can you find out and help me i have since spent five days in the hospital with no answers they say an MRI cant hurt you I'm still the sick and now have a had time seeing PC screen
there is always a first time, Massachusetts, USA, April 12, 2013

• Marc F. from Nevada -- Are the stents near your lower back. If so, you need to find out the brand and model of the stents and then look it up on the database we've referenced below
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 6, 2013

• I had 2 arterial stents put in but not against or in the heart. That was 4 days ago and l may have another MRI on my lower back ordered before the stent by my neurosurgeon. Thoughts please.
Marc F., Sparks, Nevada, USA, February 6, 2013

• JoAnn B in Florida -- According to the MRI Safety database, compiled by Dr. Frank Shellock, your stents are MRI safe at a field strength of 1.5-Tesla.

And Shailesh in New Delhi -- Your relative's stent is probably a "Bard XT" and, according to Dr. Shellock's database, it is also safe at a Tesla strength of 1.5
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, February 3, 2013

• I have two stent implants they were put in on 6/5/97 PALMAZ-SCHATZ STENTS. product code PS 1530 lot number 131321 & 131325 site of implants R.C.A. is it safe to have an MRI?
JoAnn B., Wellington, Florida, USA, January 29, 2013

• Dear Sir , My Brother in-law had gone Angioplasty in June 1997 and as per records 3 stents were putted of BART-XT make as per record . Now he is suffering from Sciatica Pain and doctor had asked for MRI for proper diagnosis . Some doctors are saying it is possible and some are saying not possible. Please guide me.
Shailesh B., New Delhi, India, January 28, 2013

• Ron in Michigan -- It would be extremely helpful if your doctor could tell you the brand of the stent, but also exactly what type of device it is. A "shoulder" stent is probably a subclavian stent. Can't believe there is no record of which stent. There has to be some indication in the hospital records. In any case, discuss this with the MRI tech and have them use as low strength a magnet as is feasible.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, Jan 9, 2013

• I have a stent in my left shoulder need to have MRI of my brain. The Dr. that put in stent has no records on the type of stent he used . What do I do so I can get the MRI?
Ron, Michigan, USA, January 8, 2013

• PM from Georgia -- Thanks for the info. Many of the most recently approved coronary stents have been approved for immediate MRI -- but, of course, you should check with the manufacturer -- there are instances when an MRI is necessary and can't wait for 8 weeks. We reported on this back in 2005, and since then most coronary stents have gotten approval for immediate MRI.

And Peggy in Arizona, not sure what the tech meant by "6". Strength of MRI is measured by the magnet, usually a 1.5 or 3.0 Tesla.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, Decmebr 29, 2012

• The general rule of thumb is wait 8 weeks post stent placement and scar tissue will form around stent, preventing it from "possibly" moving. We routinely scan stents after 8 weeks. After 25 years working in MRI, I have never encountered a problem with a patient. We have a 1.5T magnet.
PM, Columbus, Georgia, USA, December 27, 2012

• I had two stents in the past year. A third one in 1999. Two days ago I had an MRI of my back. Tonight my heart beat is irregular and a skin problem on my lower back. I was in the MRI approx. 40 min. They were concerned about doing the MRI due to the old 1999 stent, which we did not know what is was made of. But they did it anyway based on the MRI tech stating it would be OK since he was doing a low energy of 6....whatever that is. At least this is what I heard, a measurement of 6 and under is safe, the tech said. Does this sound OK to you? Could the irregular beat be due to the MRI magnetic imaging....no dye in veins.
Peggy J. D'Amato, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA, December 13, 2012

• My brother who had a history of neurological problem and suffering from acute pain on the nerves of left leg developed cardiac problem and had to undergo angioplasty. Subsequently, as his pain on the left leg got increased, advised to go for an MRI for evaluation. Please advise whether it will be safe to go for an MRI immediately after angioplasty, if not to what time one has to wait for an MRI after placing a stent
prabhatham vayanasala, District Hospital, Palakkad (Retired), India, December 7, 2012

• To paleryder. When timing is limited to 15min this refers to the actual sequence not the total scan time. There is no single sequence that would exceed 15min when scanning the spine on any MRI machine. The MRI would have not caused any issues with your stents if they are compatible - and obviously this was mentioned as the techs discussed scan conditions. It is normal in MRI to experience some heating and this to is limited and monitored automatically by the machine and remains within FDA limits. Your Dr who asked for the test has to also consider the risks of MRI. Disappointing you had a negative feeling about your study and named a department without fully understanding the physics and issues associated with MRI. Other readers should feel comfortable in that any implant is scrutinised before their scan - this is policy.
Common sense, Sydney, NSW, Australia, October 19, 2012

• To all posters -- read through our responses to these types of questions. We'd refer all to the database at MRISafety.com where you can look up your device and see what's known about it. If you have further questions, or your device is not listed, ask your interventional cardiologist, the physician who placed the stent. Hint: when you do a search on MRISafety, use the category "Coils, filters, stents and grafts."
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, October 18, 2012

• I need an MRI but I have 2 stents in my heart. What do I do I received a card when I had it done that It is stainless steel and I should not have MRI. Is there anything else I can do beside MRI to see what is wrong with me?
cchimblo, Fairfield County, New Jersey, USA, October 17, 2012

• HELP! I believe my life was just endangered--I have FIVE coronary artery stents--placed in MID RCA and adjacent artery in 2010. I am NOT on Plavix at this time-was told type of stents used I can stop after 22 months--I also was told I can have MRI--but NO continuous scanning more than 20 minutes. Also doctor prefers a 1.5 over 3 Tesla. I had MRI of back today--the tech PROMISED to take me out of the machine after 16 minutes--and then put me back in to finish the test. he said 'we have scanned patients in the 3 attenuation it really doesn't matter with modern stents" i said--ok-but remove me after 16 minutes. he said he would...They DID NOT--I was in there 30 minutes maybe 35 and when I was pulled out-a different person was there not the tech I saw--she said "you were only in 15 minutes" I said -NO i know how to tell time--it was 30 minutes--my chest is warm--she refused to give me her name--badge turned around IN THE HOPSITAL--this is MOUNT SINAI NYC--am I in serious danger now? what do I do? They did NOt do as they promised me. I just got home. I have chest pain..but I have had chest pain prior to test on and off. Worried the MRI caused damage--it was 3 atenuation for 30 minutes.
paleryder, New York, New York, USA, August 23, 2012

• I have 10 stents, 6 in heart and four in groin area. Some are double stents. My vascular doctor wants a MRI done at the highest T level and my cardiologist agrees. The Radiologist wants me to sign a waiver, do you think the highest MRI is necessary to find out where my blockages is occurring since I am having circulation issues? I also had thrombolysis of the right iliac artery, then later the left. Can just a normal level MRI be sufficient?
RjCollin, Chicago, Illinois, USA, May 21, 2012

• Cos from the UK -- If you look at our post from August 2010 (and any since then), you will note that we are not saying the Tesla strength of an MRI can be adjusted. However, some facilities have more than one MRI unit, and some older stents are not cleared definiteively for a full 3.0T so a lower strength machine should be utilized in those cases. Also patients with multiple stents may need special consideration.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 1, 2012

• Please Please stop saying the TESLA strength can be adjusted. It CAN'T full stop. Not possible. 1.5 tesla is and always will be a 1.5 tesla and the same applies to a 3 Tesla. Most if not ALL coronary artery stents are safe up to 3 Tesla. Scan away no problems!!!
Cos, Spire, UK, February 29, 2012

• To all readers -- see our March 28 post. Most stents are okay for MRI, but it is important not to go beyond the recommended Tesla strength, Make sure the MRI technician is aware of the fact that you have a stent. And refer to the database we linked to.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, November 11, 2011

• Had a 3*38 Xience LL drug eluting stent in July 2011. I would like to have a brain MRI but I am not sure how safe it is. Would you please help?
Gordon, UK, November 10, 2011

• I've had three stents placed between 2007-2008. First stent was unmedicated the second was. The third however was inserted into the first stent. It is longer and larger diameter. I have had low level MRI with no problems,however,they would not do a high level MRI because they were not sure what would happen with the doubled up stent. Just wondering if you are aware of any problems that could occur using the higher strength MRI?
Ray W, Ontario, Canada, September 5, 2011

• Very Worried in North Dakota -- If you read our March 28 post, you'll find a database of stents and whether or not they've been tested to be safe for MRI and, if so, at what strength Tesla they've been measured. However, since you have ten stents, the chances are that you have a number of different types. If your MRI technicians were aware of the situation, you should be okay, because hopefully they would have given you an MRI of a low enough strength. Do you know what Tesla strength MRI you got? Sick to your stomach is not a symptom we have heard of associated with any problem caused by the MRI heating up or moving the stents, but discuss this with your cardiologist, if only to calm your worries.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 21, 2011

• I have 10 stents and just had an MRI. They told me it was safe but now I feel very sick to my stomach and I'm very worried.
Very Worried, Watford City, North Dakota, USA, August 20, 2011

• I had a bare metal 4.0 stent put in my coronary LAD in 2001. In 2006 or 2007 I had a brain MRI performed and experienced sharp localized chest pain which increased in intensity during the MRI to the point where, for the last several minutes, I was on the ragged edge of aborting the procedure. As soon as the MRI ended the pain was gone. No other apparent effects. I do not plan to do one again.
Dave, Texas, USA, July 19, 2011

• I am getting ready to have heart cath. they said may need a stent. I have many other health problems and have MRI and CTs frequently I joke that I glow are there other sites to show what this site is showing? Has anyone been able to sue when the MRI moves their stent? I mom thought her's moved but she wasn't sure she didn't think they could. Looking for other ideas than stents if one needed such a thing a I do spend a lot of time in MRIs.
concerned, Effingham, Illinois, USA, May 18, 2011

• My brother is currently in hospital with two clots in the neck, possible stroke. He has a stent put in India but lives in Africa and has lost medical records His African drs are asking for stent information for MRI purpose. What does one do in a situation if you don't know the information about the stent? Thanks.
Sister, USA, May 17, 2011

• Has anyone considered making stents out of a non-magnetic metal (such as aluminum)? Is that possible and would an aluminum implant cause a problem with an MRI?
Bill in CT, Orange, Connecticut, USA, March 29, 2011

• Joel Z from Chicago -- If you search Dr. Frank Shellock's database, noted in our August 16 and January 27 posts, you find that the Palmaz-Schatz stents are considered "SAFE" for MRI when the field strength of the unit is 1.5 Tesla. This is very important, because greater Tesla fields (for example, 3.0) may not be. The referenced article appeared in the October 1998 of the Journal of Invasive Cardiology, and is titled "Are Current Cardiovascular Stents MRI Safe?" (pubmed: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10762825).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 28, 2011

• Is the 1996 Palmaz-Schatz expandable balloon stent compatible to do an MRI? My 83 year old mother had the stent implanted in 1996 and is supposed to have an MRI tomorrow. However, neither the MD's nor us can seem to find any info whether it is safe to do an MRI with this stent. Thank you for any help you can give us.
joel z, Chicago, Illinois, USA, March 28, 2011

• MRI-Stent from India, and other readers-- read the response below from August 16 -- when getting an MRI, all stent patients should inform the doctors and technicians that they have a stent, and what brand it is, so to be sure that the MRI is not so strong as to disturb the stent. Can you find out from the hospital what strength Tesla the MRI that you had was?? If you know the brand of stent, you can search "The List" on the web site to www.mrisafety.com to see if your stent is safe and for what strength Tesla.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 27, 2011

• i had angioplasty in 2007 and implanted Endeavor 3.5*18 stent ptca to lad- now i have undergone MRI for limber i feel MRI has disturbed the displacement of stent daily after MRI i am experiencing some change in chest? why this is? i am unable to explain but there is change? is it possible my stent is disturbed from where it is placed?
mri-stent, banking, aurangabad, India, January 25, 2011

• I had stent on sep 30th 2010 one in my right coronary artery, I lost my vision after angioplasty,The consultant referred for MRI of Brain and Optic region. But the MRI Department refused to take the MRI. I am helpless my vision is still bad with Hessy, Diplopia. Can any one help to answer whether I am eligible for MRI.
Dr. Goshi, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, November 8, 2010

• In August 2004, I had one cypher and one Taxus DES stent placed. In december 2004, I had 2 more Cypher (Cordis) DES stents placed. (feel I did not need these) My Heart enzymes elevated drastically the night of the 12/2004 stenting. They did an MRI of the heart. No one told me about the dangers of this. 3 months later I had an acute Coronary event. Another Cypher was placed next to a previous cypher in the LAD. All this happened at one of the top 10 heart centers in the country. Switched heart centers and learned......Now need an MRI of the ankle. Good hospital alerted me to the potential hazards of 5 heart stents. I was advised to call Cypher Mfg. They told me that since I had more than 2 stents it was not advisable to have the MRI. They warned me of the possibility of malpositioning. I will live with the bad ankle.
Nana of 3, Somewhere in Texas, USA, September 26, 2010

• Concerned Tech and NancyD -- Thanks to all for your comments and yes...to clarify, the Tesla strength of an MRI scanner cannot be adjusted per se, although Philips Medical Systems makes a scanner that can be configured to use different strength fields -- but it is not adjustable via a dial or similar controller -- it can only operate at one strength per configuration. If a patient needs an MRI and their stent is not "SAFE" for an MRI done at 3.0 Tesla, then they need to be scanned by a lower strength unit, possibly at the same hospital/facility or, if there is not one on the premises, at a different facility. And thanks NancyD(!!) for your very clear explanation and also for the link to www.mrisafety.com. We also were referred to this site by John LaMarche, the Clinical Marketing Manager for MR at Toshiba Medical Systems. Patients and healthcare professionals can search "The List" on this site and see information about their device. It's also important to read through the site's Disclaimer. The site was created and is maintained by physiologist Frank G. Shellock, Ph.D. as a service to the profession. Angioplasty.Org hopes to feature an article about Dr. Shellock and the site in the near future.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 16, 2010

• I am the MRI safety officer at my hospital. I will try to explain why MRI facilities need the information on stents (and ALL metallic items implanted in your body). Implants that are tested are rated as SAFE, CONDITIONAL or UNSAFE. Safe means we can scan immediately with no conditions, conditional means we have to stay within certain limits set by the manufacturer when we scan. Unsafe is unsafe, period. A large percentage of implants are rated as conditional. THAT is why we need the make/model # of the implant. In addition, not all implants have been tested and those that have been may not have been tested at the higher tesla field strengths now in use. And no, the tesla CANNOT be adjusted on an MRI machine, BUT, you can be sent to a lower tesla machine if needed. Also, not all implants or stents have been tested as many are being added to the marketplace daily. That being said, if we cannot get the information we need, a radiologist can make the decision that the need for the MRI outweighs the risk. More information can be found on www.mrisafety.com. This site is used by MRI facilities for the exact purpose of identifying safety of implants.
NancyD, Sacramento, California, USA, August 12, 2010

• To the editor - YOU CANNOT ADJUST THE TESLA OF A MRI SYSTEM. Please inform yourself appropriately prior to posting uninformed and dangerous information.
Concerned MRI Technologist, Melbourne Australia, August 12, 2010

• Can anyone answer this question -- are there any coronary stents unsafe for a 1.5 T MRI ?
S CONAT, olympic medical center, Port Angeles, Washington, USA, July 23, 2010

• To all -- many stents have been approved by the FDA for MRI imaging. But if there are any questions about your stent in particular, you should contact the manufacturer of the stent. Before 2003, all stents would be bare metal. To Lev, the multilink stent was made by Guidant, now Abbott Vascular. To Patel, GE should be addressing these issues with your lab. It's hard to believe that you are unable to adjust the Tesla strength of your MRI. And Mimi42 -- the hospital hwere the stent was placed MUST have the information. It would most likely be a Palmaz-Schatz or similar stent (manufactured by Cordis/J&J).
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 16, 2010

• My husband had at least one stent implanted around 1993 and in 1996 had CABG following restenosis of the stent. He now needs an MRI of the Cervical Spine. The Radiology center won't do it without information about the brand of the stent. We can't get that information at this point. Would it be dangerous to reply "no" to the question of whether or not he has a stent?
Mimi42, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, June 27, 2010

• We upgraded our GE scanner recently . The gradients are stronger than before and cannot be adjusted . So we have not been able to scan patients who had cardiac stents. Ironically we were able to do so in past . that has created a nightmare for doctors and patients trying to schedule. May be someone would guide us??
Patel, Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania, USA, June 16, 2010

• I have two stents Multi-Link Tetra for 8 years. Could I perform MRI-investigation?
Lev Manashkin, Retiree, West Hartford, Connecticut, USA, May 18, 2010

• LucianF -- If the stent was placed in 2000, it would be a bare metal type, not a drug-eluting or "medicated" stent which weren't marketed until 2003. There should be a brand name or model -- one star or three star don't ring a bell. We'd strongly suggest calling Boston Scientific Patient Services at 1.866.484.3268 for specific assistance on this issue. Also definitely tell the technicians doing the MRI about the stent -- they can adjust the Tesla strength for safety.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 14, 2010

• My father had a stent placed in 2000 and needs an MRI of the lumbar spine now. The only information on the stent that we have it that it was manufactured by Boston Scientific and it is either a "one star" or "three star". We don't know if it was medicated or not. Would it be safe to have the MRI. Thank you for your answer.
LucianF, New York, USA, May 13, 2010

• Legacy stents such as the Palmaz-Schatz and AVE have most likely not been testing specifically for MRI safety, although more recent stents with virtually the same metallic composition have been. It is also important that the MRI technician knows you have a stent, so that the strength of the MRI can be adjusted for maximum safety. We would recommend contacting the manufacturer about a specific stent in question.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 20, 2010

• I have a 3.0 Palmaz-Schatz Stent placed in 1996. Is it safe to have an MRI? If not, is there an alternative to MRI that is safe?
Howard P., New York, New York, USA, April 7, 2010

• my father has yukon stent in RCA since 2005. i want to know what type of stent is it? DES OR BMS. He has to undergo MRI pelvis for Ca prstrate. is it safe?
Dr.Poonam gupta, safdarjung Hospital, New Delhi, March 11, 2010

• I have an AVE stent #AVE DGFW3530. I understand AVE has been bought out by Medtronic and all the part numbers have changed. It was implanted 7/15/98, making it over 10 years old. I am having back problems now and really need an MRI, but my surgeon will not order a MRI unless he has assurance this older stent is truly MRI safe. Can anyone from Medtronic or someone who really knows respond and let us know if this is safe? Please help! Thank you very much
John Oiger, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, February 22, 2010

• hi i am a 39 year old man.they put 2 stents in sept 2008 and 2 more stent in nov 2009. my prob is that i work in power dam..i make in a place where we do and transport eltricity.(H.Q)and here there is a lot..like a lot off magnetic field.is there a danger at long period if i work in that condition for like 9h a day...? thanks
Marco, Quebec, Canada, January 6, 2010

• I have six cypher cordis medicine eluting stents in two coronary arteries (4 in one and 2 in another). I had an MRI of the head a month ago and all was fine. Now I need a breast MRI due to a lump and since this area is closer to the stents, will I have a problem with heat? My stents are in over 2 years now.
Ammon, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, December 28, 2009

• I had an AVE 3.5 x 30mm stent implanted in my LAF artery in 1998. It was one of the early bare metal stents. Anyone know if it is MRI safe? Also had a bypass done on 2004, and was wondering if the wires used to tie the bone back together are mri ok. I have 2 sets of them as they needed to go in twice, and they left the old wires is (internal bleeding problems. I need an MRI on my spine now. Also had a CorboMedics Annuloplasty ring installed on my Mitral valve. It says it is MRI safe to 3.0 Telsa. Do they use higher strengths than that now. Thanks.
John, Indianapolis, Indiana, USA, December 16, 2009

• Who manufacturers the Tristar coronary stent? Is it safe in a 3.0 Tesla magnet?
SW, Rochester, New York, USA, October 10, 2009

• Could u please tell if 3 x 23 mm sonic stent MRI safe.This is regard to a patient who needs urgent MRI scan. Many thanks.
Maninder K., London Upright MRI center, UK, September 30, 2009

• The safety of stents in the MRI enviroment is dependent on field stength of the scanner. Magnets now clinically go upto 7T with many being at 3T. Not all stents have been tested beyond 1.5T. If they have not been tested patients will not be scanned at these field stengths and therefore their appointment may need to be changed so that they are scanned at a lower field.
Julie Pounder, University of Hull, UK, September 30, 2009

• is iliac symphony stents can be safe go under mri procedure.thanks.
B, Indiana, USA, September 16, 2009

• I have a 10X60 mm Wallstent placed in my common bile duct. I have auto-immunue pancreatitis. Can I have a MRI on the lumbar region of my back, as well as my hips? PS I realize you are focussing on heart stents, but I can't seem to locate a site with any info on this particular subject and would appreciate just finding out if this type of stent is just too "metallic" for this procedure. Thank you for your consideration
D Draper, For personal information, AB Canada, August 30, 2009

• By and large, most stents are MRI safe -- but this may vary from brand to brand and it is important to know which stent is being discussed -- FDA approval for MRI safety in stents is given for specific stents only. Also important is the exact make, model, diameter and length of the stent. This information should be given to the MRI tech doing the imaging to make sure the magnetic field is within safe limits.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 18, 2009

• I had a stent implanted in LAD in April 1998. (11 years ago). Is an MRI safe for me now ?
C M P, Pune, India, August 13, 2009

• Are all cardiac stents safe for an MRI after the year 1995?
Karen P., Fairbanks, Alaska, USA, August 6, 2009

• Ben H -- Yes the Endeavor stent is okay for MRI use, but as Medtronic's web site states: "...if you need an MRI, the technician will need to operate the machine within certain limits. Be sure to tell any doctor treating you that you have a stent and show them your identification card." This is something we'd recommend no matter what brand stent you have.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, August 2, 2009

• A previous post has indicated that "the U.S. FDA approved both Boston Scientific's Taxus and J&J's Cypher for immediate MRI." I have a Medtronic Endeavor DES. Is there an FDA approval for MRI with this stent? Thanks once again.
Ben H., Massachusetts, USA, August 2, 2009

• Antoinette -- read posts below and you'll note that these stents are okay for MRI -- however, we always recommend letting the MRI technician know how many and what type of stents you have BEFORE the MRI.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, July 27, 2009

• I have seven stents two are multi-link zeta the others are CYPHER. Due to lumbar problems I'd like to have an MRI but now am hesitant to keep the appointment. I had restenosis in the multi-link . At this point Ii am not sure what to do. Last stents were in 2006.
Antoinette R., Brattleboro, Vermont, USA, July 27, 2009

• Judy -- the Racer stent is colbalt-chromium so not only is it MRI-safe, but it also allows MRI visualization after implantation more than a stainless steel stent would. However, we always recommend that you convey this information to the MRI/MRA operators, so they can make sure not to subject the patient to greater than recommended magnetic fields.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, June 3, 2009

• My father has a Cordis Hepacoat BX Sonic OTW stent and two Racer Stent systems made by Medtronic, one in each kidney. He needs an MRI of his Head and neck. Are these stents approved to be safe for an MRI?
Judy W., Florida USA, May 27, 2009

• Any experience with having an MRI after a stent implant?
Alma, Maine, USA, April 18, 2009

• I work screening patients for MRI. I like to see the brand name of a person's stent or they don't enter the magnet room. I make sure the patient is safe. I am told there are unsafe stents out there. What are they and their names? I have only come across safe ones according to my safety manual.
cduce, Olympic Medical Center, Washington, USA, April 10, 2009

• Neville -- that's a good question. Most stents are MRI-safe, but whether working long-term in an MRI environment might cause a problem is something we haven't heard reported on. We would think it would be okay, since you're not going to be the subject of the MRI. Maybe the training program organizers have more info.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 12, 2009

• 1 ( one) coronary medicated stent was placed in 2001 in Delhi Ascorts Hospital. Now I am planning to take 18-months training on MRI and want to work as MRI Technician. Do I have any risk in Under going the training as well as to take it as my profession?
Neville D Rozario Bangladesh, January 7, 2009

• Ernest -- read the previous entries. MRI is OK after stenting.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 3, 2009

• I am a 80 yr old male and have 5 monorail stents in 2006 and 3 taxus in early 2007. Now I am advised that I need a lower back MRI. Anybody can see a problem. Should I ask for low power imaging or stay away from it all?
Ernest G., Connecticut, USA, December 25, 2008

• To repeat the answer to your questions, if you look at these news releases from April 2005, you'll see that the U.S. FDA approved both Boston Scientific's Taxus and J&J's Cypher for safe MRI, immediately after implantation -- no waiting necessary..
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, December 5, 2008

• I have a palmaz-Schatz Stent placed in 1996 I have had virtually no issues. The VA wants to do an MRI on my Hip. I thought I was warned not to have an MRI performed. My product code is: P51530 LOt# HK 1193 Any Information would be appreciated.
Patrick Dwyer, Denver, Colorado, USA, December 3, 2008

• Found Murray Berman's experience to be very helpful. I too had a Tristar bare metal stent in Dec 2000. I had a MRI done Aug 2008 without any side effects or complications.
Stephen C., Ontario, Canada, September 28, 2008

• Is it safe to have an MRI procedure after having a stent implant? My dad had an angioplasty procedure yr 2003. Is it safe? please advice. thank you.
Glenda, Philippines, September 12, 2008

• I had a Cypher Sirolimus-eluting Coronary Stent (CORDIS) from J and J inserted three weeks ago. I am now told I need an MRI for my lumbar back problems. how long should I wait for the MRI. I can live a few weeks with the back problem.
Richard L., Pennsylvania, USA, July 24, 2008

• I am 63 yr. old female who had one drug eluting sent placed in my right coronary artery on feb 2008,now I have sever pain in the lower back and pelvic joint area and I want to have an MRI for the area, Is it safe to have the test? or I have to wait longer?
H.A., California, USA, June 21, 2008

• I am a engineer who consistently works around MRI equipment. Reading these articles is it advisable to work on these machines with stents in place?
ST, Georgia, USA, June 16, 2008

• Joann -- as indicated in earlier postings, the FDA has found no problems with having an MRI immediately after stenting. Can't say what might be causing your BP and vision problems. Have doctors given any opinion?
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, May 22, 2008

• I had an MRI for shoulder problems on a Monday then on the following Friday I had problems with my blood pressure going high and blurred vision. I have had 4 other episodes like this. I had a stainless stent put in my artery in Jan of 2001. Could there be in any connection between the MRI and the blood pressure going high?
Joann Birdwell, Lafayette, Tennessee, USA, May 18, 2008

• To Ray Z in Santa Monica -- My MRI was needed to diagnose an herniated disc. I discussed the pains with my neurosurgeon. he said these pains sometimes occur because of the brace used during the MRI. It can cause irritation of the nerves leading to the left side of the chest. Bottom line..no further pain in chest; neck is repaired.
Bruce, Houston, Texas, USA, May 6, 2008

• To Bruce in Houston TX - I have had 16 Coronary Stents inserted and a month later (after the 16th) a Cervical and Thoracic MRI - No problem. I need to ask. Was the Cervical MRI needed for an injury? Could the injury have also been in the thoracic area causing you discomfort? Perhaps you should look into this.
RayZ, San Marcos, California, USA, April 3, 2008

• Chandra -- if you look at the posts below from April 2005, you'll see that the U.S. FDA approved both Boston Scientific's Taxus and J&J's Cypher for immediate MRI. Best wishes.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 1, 2008

• Dear Sir I am awaiting permission from someone as to whether or not I am a candidate for MRI. In Oct 2006 I had two Johnson& Johnson Cypher 2 stents implanted. Now I am suffering from Tongue Carcinoma and advised MRI. Am I able to have the MRI? Please advice urgently.
R Chandra, India, March 31, 2008

• Bruce -- your story is very interesting. We know that the FDA cleared MRI for stents, but we're not sure if they tested for situations where there were 7 stents. You're the first person to write in with this problem to our Forum. You should share your experience with the FDA and please let us know how you are faring..
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 15, 2008

• Since 03/2006 I have had 7 stents placed (3 to resolve a failed bypass). Last stent was 2/21/2008. On 03/12/2008 I underwent an MRI of the cervical spine. The test was very uncomfortable and I was unable to focus when leaving the facility. I experienced significant chest pain centralized under the sternum most of the evening and was unable to sleep that night due to nightmares (which I never have). Today, 03/13/2008, I have not completely recovered. I will do my best to avoid an MRI in the future, no matter what the FDA says.
Bruce, Houston, Texas, USA, March 13, 2008

• Angela -- read the posts below. The FDA has cleared both Cypher and Taxus drug-eluting stents for immediate MRI.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, January 5, 2008

• CAN MY HUSBAND HAVE A MRI WITH TAXUS EXPRESS 2. PLEASE GET BACK WITH ME.
Angela M., Alabama, USA, December 29, 2007

• Due to a long term ongoing knee problem- osteoarthritis, I'm to understand that my doctor may be considering an MRI for this issue. However I do have two Multi-Link Vision Cobalt Chromium Coronary Stents in my right coronary artery. I'm to understand that this may represent a significant problem with doing an MRI... Is there a specific reason why?
Nita, Wichita, Kansas, USA, March 19, 2007

• Thank you for your very fast reply to me regarding my enquiry about having an MRI with two stents from June 2000. The MRI went well and no problems occured. Thank you.
Murray Berman B.Sc. Phm., Pharmacist, Toronto Ontario Canada, April 24, 2006

• Murray -- the two drug-eluting stents available in the U.S. were both approved for immedate MRI imaging last April. The Tristar is a bare metal stent made by Guidant. The IFU (Instructions For Use) from Guidant states "Do not perform a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan on patients post-stent implantation until the stent has completely endothelialized (eight weeks) to minimize the potential for migration. The stent may cause artifacts in MRI scans due to distortion of the magnetic field." Hope this helps. Please let us know how things work out.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, March 20, 2006

• I awaiting permission from someone as to whether or not I am a candidate for MRI. In June 2000 I had two Tristar stents implanted. Dec 31 2005 I fell on my left shoulder and have a full tear of of a tendon the Supraspatina. Am I able to have the MRI? My orthopedic surgeon is delaying surgery until he is told it is OK. I am assuming that in 2000 the stent was stainless steel ? Correct ? Thanks
Murray Berman B.Sc. Phm., Pharmacist, Toronto Ontario Canada, March 20, 2006

• In Aug. 2004 I had 2 coronary stents placed: ACS multi-linkpixel(13mm)and a Taxus Express2(20mm). During a cervical MRI on 10-28-05 I felt heat and vibration in the sternum and just left of the sternum in my chest about ten minutes into a proposed 30 minute MRI. It was an "open MRI". I stopped the test. Anyone have an explanation for this? Anyone have a similar experience? Would a "closed MRI" using less magnetism get me through this test? Any responses are greatly appreciated.
John Colarusso, patient, Bronx, NY USA, October 28, 2005

• Ashok -- the reason MRI scans were avoided in stent patients for several months after stent placement was to give the endothelium (inner lining of the artery) a chance to cover and anchor the stent -- there was concern that the strong magnetic field would dislodge the metallic stent. Now tests have been run (see postings below) that have shown this does not occur and the FDA now says it's okay to do an MRI immediate post-stenting. Your hypothesis is, however, theoretically interesting -- that the iron in red blood cells is attracted to a magnetized stent. I don't think the magnetism remains in the metal stent after an MRI, nor would it be strong enough to cause red cells to congregate -- of course, it would also be interesting to look at the data from stent patients who have had MRI scans and see if the restenosis rate is abnormal.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, September 30, 2005

• I had an angioplasty done at Apollo Hospital Chennai, India in December 1998 and then the doctors advised me to refrain from high magnetic field like mri scan for the first 6 months after angioplasty. In 2003 i had an MRI done and the doctors said it was ok. Being a physics student its scientific as the metal stent would be magnetised and then would attract cells therefore enhancing the chances of restenosis. All the best
Ashok Punjabi, ONGC, Delhi, India, August 25, 2005

• UPDATE2: Today the FDA approved the CYPHER stent from Johnson & Johnson / Cordis for immediate MRI as well. So now both the drug-eluting stents have been okayed for immediate MRI imaging!
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, April 20, 2005

• UPDATE: Just a few days ago, the FDA approved Boston Scientific's TAXUS stent for MRI-compatibility. This means that MRIs can be done immediately after stent placement. The company was able to demonstrate that no ill effects are caused by MRI. This has something to do with the stent designs, but also to the fact that newer generation MRI scanning uses lower fields of power than the older machines, thus the effect on metallic stents is nil. You can read the company's press release here. Other stents may possibly be safe as well, but the TAXUS is the only one currently approved by the FDA.
Angioplasty.Org Staff, Angioplasty.Org, USA, April 09, 2005

• Is there a length of time one should wait after a coronary artery stent is put in before allowing a patient to have an MRI study, or can MRI be done safely immediately or a couple of weeks after stent placement? Keith T. Chesser, M.D. UAB Medical West Dep. of Radiology Birmingham, AL
Keith Chesser, M.D., UAB Medical West Radiology, Birmingham, Alabama, USA, M.D. on Thursday, February 17, 2005

• My husband had a drug eluting stent placed in his aorta July 2004. He needs to have a MRI for a shoulder problem. Will the MRI have any effect on the stent or the dosage of the drug due to the heat?
Pat Tenvold, Redwood City, CA 94062, October 16, 2004

• I am 48 year old female who underwent MRI and MRA April 19,1999. I had stainless steel implant done in December of 1999. I was frightened about having this done because I am not familiar with the strength of the magnetism of the MRI. I kept repeating to those doing the test that I had this implant and they didnt seem concerned.
Patricia C., Daytona Beach, Florida, USA, 26 Apr 2000
 
• As a magnetician, engineer and physicist, I can understand the question relating to so-called non-magnetic stainless but I assure you your concerns may be unfounded. Your question assumes that the force on the stent caused by huge MRI magnetic field will move the stent against the surrounding tissue. Since the stent is embedded in soft tissues I cannot see any such relative motion effects coming into place. All tissue in question will "tug together" if at all. The strain will occur well away from the stainless/artery boundary, if at all. Also since the mass of the stent is so small, any resulting forces will be small as well.
Matthew Dugas, Advanced Research Corporation, Minnesota, USA, November 22, 1998

• As an engineer who has received a Palmaz-Schatz stent over two years ago, I am very interested in the answer to this question also. My guess is that a hi-energy magnetic field may cause migration of even the so called "non-magnetic" stainless steel stents, possibly causing fracturing of plaque and or separation of arterial tissue.
Michael Izzi, patient & engineer, Long Island, New York, USA, May 16, 1998

• Has anyone ever seen or heard of a problem in any patient who has undergone an MR exam following recent stent placement, i.e., within 24 to 48 hours?
Jerry Breen, MD, Dept. of Radiology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA, February 6, 1998

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