A new implantable cardioverter defibrillator (ICD) has been designed to allow patients with heart implants to undergo vital magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) health checks without risk.

Harefield Hospital is one of the first hospitals in the UK to offer this life-saving device. Previously, people who had ICDs or pacemakers were denied MRIs because of a risk that their heart devices would malfunction because of the magnetic fields used in the test.

The Evera MRI SureScan is about the size of a matchbox. It allows doctors to carry out MRIs on any part of the body, including the heart.

The newspaper Mail Online has reported on one of the first patients in the world to benefit from the implant, Penelope Wybrow, who was treated by Professor Mark Mason, consultant cardiologist at Harefield Hospital.

Harefield Hospital is well known for providing cutting edge treatments and using pioneering technology such as implantable heart devices.

Professor Mason said:

"This device means patients can undergo MRI scans, which are the now the highest standard for diagnosing life-threatening or disabling conditions such as spinal problems.

Thousands were denied these scans before, which led to delays in diagnosis and treatment."


Professor Mark Mason

Consultant cardiologist, Divisional director for heart at Harefield Hospital