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Interference of neodymium magnets with cardiac pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators: an in vitro study


Ryf, S; Wolber, T; Duru, F; Luechinger, R (2008). Interference of neodymium magnets with cardiac pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators: an in vitro study. Technology and Health Care, 16(1):13-18.

Abstract

Permanent magnets may interfere with the function of cardiac pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets have become widely available in recent years and are incorporated in various articles of daily life. We conducted an in-vitro study to evaluate the ability of NdFeB magnets for home and office use to cause interference with cardiac pacemakers and ICDs. The magnetic fields of ten NdFeB magnets of different size and shape were measured at increasing distances beginning from the surface until a field-strength (B-field) value of 0.5 mT was reached. Furthermore, for each magnet the distance was determined at which a sample pacemaker switched from magnet mode to normal mode. Depending on the size and remanence of individual magnets, a B-field value of 0.5 mT was found at distances ranging from 1.5 cm to 30 cm and a value of 1 mT at distances from 1 cm to 22 cm. The pacemaker behavior was influenced at distances from 1 cm to 24 cm. NdFeB magnets for home and office use may cause interference with cardiac pacemakers and ICDs at distances up to 24 centimeters. Patient education and product declarations should include information about the risk associated with these magnets.

Permanent magnets may interfere with the function of cardiac pacemakers and implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (ICDs). Neodymium-iron-boron (NdFeB) magnets have become widely available in recent years and are incorporated in various articles of daily life. We conducted an in-vitro study to evaluate the ability of NdFeB magnets for home and office use to cause interference with cardiac pacemakers and ICDs. The magnetic fields of ten NdFeB magnets of different size and shape were measured at increasing distances beginning from the surface until a field-strength (B-field) value of 0.5 mT was reached. Furthermore, for each magnet the distance was determined at which a sample pacemaker switched from magnet mode to normal mode. Depending on the size and remanence of individual magnets, a B-field value of 0.5 mT was found at distances ranging from 1.5 cm to 30 cm and a value of 1 mT at distances from 1 cm to 22 cm. The pacemaker behavior was influenced at distances from 1 cm to 24 cm. NdFeB magnets for home and office use may cause interference with cardiac pacemakers and ICDs at distances up to 24 centimeters. Patient education and product declarations should include information about the risk associated with these magnets.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Engineering
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Cardiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:170 Ethics
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2008
Deposited On:28 Nov 2008 15:20
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 12:36
Publisher:IOS Press
ISSN:0928-7329
PubMed ID:18334784
Permanent URL: http://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-6215

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