Making MRI available for patients with cardiac devices: why we have created patient and clinician educational videos and leaflets
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is used to diagnose a wide range of illnesses. Like everyone, many people with cardiac devices (pacemakers, defibrillators or implantable cardiac monitors) may benefit from an MRI scan at some point. Technology has changed in the last decade so MRI is technically possible when it is needed, yet patients still face difficulty with access to MRI. This leads to delays in the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions that rely on MRI such as cancer, stroke and brain surgery. The “MRI my Pacemaker” campaign was set up to ensure that patients with cardiac devices have the same access to MRI as everyone else.
The campaign has worked with the support of the British Heart Foundation and British Society of Heart Failure to develop educational videos and leaflets. Because referrers are far less likely to refer a patient with a cardiac device for MRI than other patients, we have developed an educational video for clinicians to raise awareness. The campaign is also regularly contacted by patients looking for MRI services (both in the UK and abroad). As patients are their own best advocate, we have developed resources to provide support to patients at the time of an implant or if an MRI is being considered.
The topic is complex– the MRI process requires imaging and heart specialists and of course patients to work together. Seven professional societies and three patient charities have therefore developed the content. The resources are intended for half a million people in the UK who have a cardiac device, and all clinicians referring to and performing MRI. Because patients with cardiac devices attend at least annually for a device check, the leaflet will be distributed to patients in cardiac physiology clinics at routine attendances, at the time of implantation, and through patient charities. Print and photocopy leaflet versions have been designed.
We are grateful to the following patient groups and charities for their input:
Arrhythmia Alliance, Cardiomyopathy UK and Barts Charity.
The National UK Device-MRI Working Group and the following national professional societies have all contributed to the content or supported the work:
- British Association of MRI Radiographers
- British Cardiovascular Society
- British Heart Rhythm Society
- British Institute of Radiology
- British Society of Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance
- British Society for Heart Failure
- Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine
- The Royal College of Radiologists
- The Society of Radiographers
We are grateful to the British Heart Foundation for funding the resources.
Online videos can be found here:
Patient educational video
- Spanish, Urdu, Hindi translations will also follow shortly.
Referrer educational video