PHOENIX (April 07, 2014) –   Abrazo Health, the second largest health care delivery system in Arizona, announced today that Arizona Heart Hospital is the first in the state to conduct a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan of a patient implanted with an Accent MRI™ Pacemaker and Tendril MRI™ Lead.

Cardiac pacemakers are used to help treat abnormal heart rhythms by monitoring the heart and providing electrical stimulation when the heart beat is irregular. Pacemaker patients are typically discouraged from receiving MRI scans because the pacing system may be affected during the scan. MRI is often a preferred diagnostic tool for some medical conditions such as cancer, stroke, spine and neurological disorders that may not be adequately visualized using other imaging methods.

The Accent MRI™ Pacemaker and Tendril MRI™ Lead, developed by St. Jude Medical, are designed to be MRI-compatible, allowing a patient to undergo a full body MRI scan. The Pacemaker offers advanced wireless communications and programming algorithms to help address individual patient conditions. The device can easily initiate MRI settings and be quickly restored to its original settings after the scan is complete.

“More than 80% of our pacemaker patients are older than 65 and there is an increased likelihood that these patients will develop a medical condition for which an MRI scans may be useful or even critical. Historically, pacemaker patients have been denied access to MRI. These new pacemakers will allow our patients to have the option of getting MRI scans for optimal diagnosis and treatment of their medical condition,” said Dr. Vijay Swarup, MD director of Arizona Heart Rhythm Center, who performed the procedure. “The advanced technology of Accent MRI™ Pacemaker allows full-body MRI scans without the limitations of earlier generation of MRI pacemakers”.

The use of the Accent MRI™ pacing system is part of a global clinical study that will help determine if a patient can safely and effectively undergo a full-body, high-resolution MRI scan with the system. The study is currently underway at 80 centers worldwide and has enrolled more than 900 patients. Steve Harris, President of the Arizona Heart Hospital says, “Use of such technology is yet a further example of the great work we continue to do here at Arizona Heart Hospital. Our physicians continue to be on the leading edge of technological advances in medicine with shows our exceptional commitment to the health and wellness of those in need of care here in Arizona and around the country.” 

About Abrazo Health

As the second largest health care delivery system in Arizona, Abrazo Health is committed to providing excellent medical care to the residents of Maricopa County. The Abrazo system includes five acute care hospitals: Arrowhead Hospital, Maryvale Hospital, Paradise Valley Hospital, Phoenix Baptist Hospital and West Valley Hospital; and one specialized cardiovascular hospital, Arizona Heart Hospital; with a combined 1,027 licensed beds. In addition, the system consists of North Peoria Emergency Center and West Valley Emergency Center; Phoenix Health Plans; School-Based Health Centers; and Abrazo Medical Group with 17 Valley locations. Visit for more information.

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