Heart, Lung and Circulation
Original Article| Volume 32, ISSUE 2, P252-260, February 2023

The Burden of Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Checks in the Peri-MRI Setting: The CHECK-MRI Study

Published:November 25, 2022DOI:


      Most modern cardiac implantable electronic device (CIED) systems are now compatible with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. The requirement for both pre- and post-MRI CIED checks imposes significant workload to the cardiac electrophysiology service. Here, we sought to determine the burden of CIED checks associated with MRI scans.


      We identified all CIED checks performed peri-MRI scans at our institution over a 3-year period between 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2020, comprising three separate financial years (FY). Device check reports, MRI scan reports and clinical summaries were collated. The workload burden was determined by assessing the occasions and duration of service. Analysis was performed to determine cost burden/projections for this service and identify factors contributing to the workload.


      A total of 739 CIED checks were performed in the peri-MRI scan setting (370 pre- and 369 post-MRI scan), including 5% (n=39) that were performed outside of routine hours (weekday <8 am or >5 pm, and weekends). MRIs were performed for 295 patients (75±13 years old, 64% male) with a CIED (88% permanent pacemaker, and 12% high voltage device), including 49 who had more than one MRI scan. The proportion of total MRI scans for patients with a CIED in-situ increased each FY (from 0.5% of all MRIs in FY1, to 0.9% in FY2, to 1.0% in FY3). The weekly workload increased (R2=0.2, p<0.001), but with week-to-week variability due to ad hoc scheduling (209 days with only one MRI vs 78 days with ≥2 MRIs for CIED patients). The projected annual cost of this service will increase to AUD$161,695 in 10 years for an estimated annual 546 MRI scans for CIED patients.


      There is an increasing workload burden and expense associated with CIED checks in the peri-MRI setting. Appropriate budgeting, staff allocation and standardisation of automated CIED pre-programming features among manufacturers are urgently needed.


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