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Friday, January 30, 2015

Safety of a dedicated brain MRI protocol in patients with a vagus nerve stimulator.

Epilepsia. 2014 Nov;55(11):e112-5. doi: 10.1111/epi.12774. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

Safety of a dedicated brain MRI protocol in patients with a vagus nerve stimulator.

de Jonge JC1, Melis GI, Gebbink TA, de Kort GA, Leijten FS.

Author information
  • 1Department of Neurology and Neurosurgery, Brain Center Rudolf Magnus, University Medical Center Utrecht, Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Although implanted metallic devices constitute a relative contraindication to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanning, the safety of brain imaging in a patient with a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) is classified as "conditional," provided that specific manufacturer guidelines are followed when a transmit and receive head coil is used at 1.5 or 3.0 Tesla. The aim of this study was to evaluate the safety of performing brain MRI scans in patients with the VNS. From September 2009 until November 2011, 101 scans were requested in 73 patients with the VNS in The Netherlands. Patients were scanned according to the manufacturer's guidelines. No patient reported any side effect, discomfort, or pain during or after the MRI scan. In one patient, a lead break was detected based on device diagnostics after the MRI-scan. However, because no system diagnostics had been performed prior to MR scanning in this patient, it is unclear whether MR scanning was responsible for the lead break. The indication for most scans was epilepsy related. Twenty-six scans (26%) were part of a (new) presurgical evaluation and could probably better have been performed prior to VNS implantation. Performing brain MRI scans in patients with an implanted VNS is safe when a modified MRI protocol is followed.

Wiley Periodicals, Inc. © 2014 International League Against Epilepsy.


Epilepsy; Magnetic resonance imaging; Patient safety; Vagus nerve stimulator

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