MRI safety in hearing implants – what you need to know about it!
As MRI examinations are becoming increasingly important due to the high accuracy of imaging, ona should pay attention when choosing the hearing implant how compatible it is with the MRs.
While other radiological procedures such as X-ray, CT scan, scintigraphy or ultrasound examination do not require any special preparation for users of hearing implant systems and can be performed without hesitation, the strong magnetic field used in a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) examination must be carefully considered. As there is also a magnet in the implant part used for the connection to the external audio processor, the interaction of the two magnetic fields can have a negative effect on the user.
Field strengths of 1.0 up to 3.0 Tesla are common in medical practice today. With the exception of the previously used VORP 502 middle ear implant,all other MED-EL hearing implant systems are MR compatible up to 1.5 Tesla. The newer generation of implants are compatible even up to 3.0 Tesla. Therefore, users of MED-EL hearing implant systems can relax, as any magnetic resonance imaging that may be required is no reason for concern.
However, the radiological institute of your choice should be informed about the implant prior to MRI examinaion, so that there is enough time before the appointment for any further questions.
During the examination, the user should remove the external parts of the hearing system. Sometimes, a light pressure bandage is recommended as well. The further procedure will be clarified by the radiology assistant on site.
For more information on the compatibility of MED-EL hearing implant systems with other medical procedures, click here: