The FDA recently approved a neurostimulation system, an implantable system that helps treat chronic back or limb pain by stimulating the spine, which can be worn during a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan. Medtronic, Inc.’s RestoreSensor SureScan is the first and only of its kind to receive the approval, according to a Medtronic press release. Some of the first systems have been implanted in patients from Ohio and Kansas.
Before the new technology, patients who received a referral for a MRI scan were denied the scan because of the risk of interference with the neurostimulation system. MRI scans involve a large amount of magnetic field and radio frequency (RF) energy. The new technology was “specially designed with enhancements to reduce or eliminate the hazards produced by the MRI environment,” according to a Medtronic press release. In addition, the new systems feature a scan that is able to set the neurostimulator system to the proper mode for the MRI environment that allows radiologists to determine if an MRI scan is safe to perform.
MRI scans are used for diagnostic purposes, and allow healthcare professionals to detect many health conditions affecting all areas of the body. It is estimated that approximately 32 million MRI scans were performed in the United States in 2011.
The University of Kansas Hospital and Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center are some of the first medical centers to implant the new device. The patients who received the implants both require frequent MRI scans for their conditions. In the past, they weren’t able to receive the scans because their implants would’ve been affected. According to MedicalXPress, one of the neurosurgeons at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center said MRIs are especially needed for patients who require neurostimulating systems for chronic pain and/or spinal conditions.