The Medtronic Evera MRI(TM) SureScan ICD System is approved for MRI scans on any part of the body without positioning restrictions, which means that patients in the U.S. who depend on life-saving ICDs also now have access to MRI scans if and when they need them.

The newly approved system, which will be commercially available this month, includes the Evera MRI ICD and Sprint Quattro Secure MRI SureScan DF4 leads, which must be used together to be considered MR-conditional.

"Patients at risk for sudden cardiac arrest have long relied on ICDs to monitor their hearts, detect dangerous arrhythmias and deliver the life-saving therapy needed to survive," said Michael R. Gold, M.D., Ph.D., chief of cardiology, Michael E Assey Professor of Medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina, and principal investigator in the Evera MRI Clinical Trial.

Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a sudden, abrupt loss of heart function that can result in death if not treated within minutes with an electrical cardioverter shock, which can be delivered by an ICD. MRI is considered the gold standard in soft-tissue imaging and is used regularly for the diagnosis of conditions such as stroke, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and muscle, bone and joint pain.

Until now, patients with ICD systems have been contraindicated by the FDA from receiving MRI scans because of potential interactions between the MRI and device function, which might result in risk to patients. These MRI restrictions have resulted in a critical unmet need as data have shown that, within four years, more than one-third of patients with ICDs – 36 percent – are likely to need an MRI.

The Evera MRI ICD system includes hardware and software design enhancements from previous generation devices that allow it to safely undergo full-body MRIs, while maintaining the same longevity, proven shock reduction and physiological size and shape of the original Evera ICD.

The device is paired with the Sprint Quattro Secure MRI SureScan DF4 leads, part of the only ICD lead family with more than 10 years of proven performance with active monitoring,2 now tested for safe use in an MRI environment.

The FDA approval of the Evera MRI ICD system was based on safety and efficacy data from the Evera MRI Clinical Trial, a multicenter, prospective, randomized, controlled clinical trial that enrolled 275 patients at 42 centers around the world.

Presented during a late-breaking clinical trial session at Heart Rhythm 2015, the Heart Rhythm Society’s 36th Annual Scientific Sessions, and published simultaneously in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (JACC), these data demonstrated that the Evera MRI ICD system is safe and effective, and that full-body MRI scans did not affect its ability to deliver life-saving therapy.