In the future, you may need magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to diagnose an illness. In fact, approximately 82% of patients with an implanted spinal cord stimulation system (SCS) are expected to need at least one MRI within five years1 of implant. But when you have an implanted device, you have to be careful about MRI scans. The good news is that patients with a Medtronic neurostimulation system for chronic pain may have an MRI scan when proper safeguards† are in place.
Both the Intellis™ and Vanta™ SCS devices integrate SureScan™ MRI technology, providing MRI access anywhere in the body with normal operating mode power settings. Other neurostimulators may restrict the allowed MRI power or scan location, preventing imaging on your shoulders or vital organs in your torso.
These devices give you broad access to MRI, the same unrestricted MRI access as nonimplanted patients.†
If your system features Medtronic SureScan™ MRI technology, you may be able to have an MRI on any part of your body or a head-only scan. Your pain specialist can easily determine if you can safely undergo the type of MRI scan prescribed.†
Note: Be sure to recharge your neurostimulator before your MRI appointment (if needed). This will help avoid any unnecessary delays.
Before you enter the room with the MRI scanner, put your neurostimulation system in MRI Mode. This turns off the stimulation. You will see In MRI Mode on your therapy programmer screen. Show this screen to the MRI clinician.
To activate MRI Mode, refer to the user guide that corresponds to your implanted neurostimulation system. These guides also provide instructions for turning stimulation back on after the MRI scan.
View product safety information for additional details.
If your doctor or MRI technologist is unsure if your Medtronic neurostimulation system is MRI safe, show him or her your Medtronic patient ID card. It includes the model number of your neurostimulator as well as a website that provides guidelines for safely conducting an MRI with that type of system.
There are many factors that determine whether you may safely undergo an MRI. Some examples are:
Your eligibility for an MRI cannot be determined by calling Medtronic, rather a collaborative effort is required between your doctor, the MRI technologist and Medtronic.
The patient programmer will display one of the icons below, which indicate MRI eligibility based on the type of SCS system you have.
FULL-BODY SCAN ELIGIBLE
The implanted neurostimulation system allows the patient to be eligible to have MRI scans of any part of the body under specific conditions. The MRI clinician must consult the MRI guidelines for those conditions.
HEAD SCAN ELIGIBLE WITH TRANSMIT/RECEIVE HEAD COIL
The implanted neurostimulation system allows the patient to be eligible for MRI scans of the head only using an RF transmit/receive head coil and under other specific conditions. The MRI clinician must consult the MRI guidelines for those conditions.
MRI SCAN ELIGIBILITY CANNOT BE DETERMINED
The MRI clinician must consult the MRI guidelines to determine how to proceed or contact Medtronic Technical Support at 800-328-0810.
The implanted neurostimulation system contains a component of which safety in the MR (magnetic resonance) environment is unknown.
Keep your ID card with you at all times and make sure the information on it is accurate.
Your ID card:
Present your ID card when you have any medical or dental procedures, or when you need to go through a security screening system at an airport or elsewhere. Otherwise, your device may set off an alarm.
You should receive a temporary ID card when your neurostimulator is implanted. Three to four weeks later, you will automatically receive a permanent ID card from Medtronic. There is no fee for this card.
If your ID card is lost or stolen, Patient Registration can issue a replacement card. They can also issue an extra card for a spouse.
Call 800-551-5544 Monday–Friday, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. Central Time.
†Under specific conditions. Talk to your doctor and refer to product labeling for full list of conditions. Patients with non-Medtronic leads and an EMBSNV20 adaptor extension are not eligible for an MRI.
Desai MJ, Hargens LM, Breitenfeldt MD, et al. The rate of magnetic resonance imaging in patients with spinal cord stimulation. Spine. 2015;40(9):E531-537.
Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.