CT radiation may spark pacemaker malfunctions

September 8, 2008

The FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health has warned imaging services that ionizing radiation from multislice CT scanners can cause implantable devices to malfunction.

The FDA Center for Devices and Radiological Health has warned imaging services that ionizing radiation from multislice CT scanners can cause implantable devices to

malfunction.

The incidence of radiation-induced pacemaker and implantable device malfunction has risen in recent years, mostly due to increased multislice CT use, said CDRH director Dr. Daniel G. Schultz. Patients implanted with pacemakers, defibrillators, and neurostimulators or using implanted or externally worn drug infusion pumps are at risk.

The agency recommends that imaging providers account for and be prepared to deal with implanted or externally worn electronic medical devices prior to imaging tests. It also advises minimizing radiation exposure, moving devices out of scan range, or turning some devices off during CT scanning whenever possible.