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US-based medical technology provider Medtronic has introduced an implantable neurostimulation system for treatment of chronic pain and reduces or eliminates the risks associated with the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) environment.

Called RestoreSensor SureScan MRI neurostimulation system, the device features SureScan MRI technology and Vectris SureScan MRI percutaneous leads that eliminate the risk with MRIs.

MRI scans use magnetic fields and radio frequency pulses to create images of structures inside the body that enable doctors to detect a range of health conditions.

It is estimated that 60 million MRI scans are performed each year globally and in the US alone, 32 million scans or more than one MRI per second were performed in 2011.

However, patients suffering with spinal cord problems referred for a body MRI are usually not scanned over concerns about large magnetic fields and radio frequency energy in an MRI environment.

Medtronic said its SureScan technology fixes the neurostimulator into a suitable mode for the MRI environment that allows radiology departments to confirm whether a patient’s implantable system is safe for MRI scanning.

"The ability to safely perform MRI scans after a spinal cord stimulator implant (SCS) is an important advancement."

The North American Neuromodulation Society and Congress of Neurological Surgeons president Dr Ali Rezai said that the ability to safely perform MRI scans after a spinal cord stimulator implant (SCS) is an important advancement and a major benefit for patients.

Medtronic Neuromodulation business pain stimulation and targeted drug delivery vice-president Julie Foster said that it was another example of its ongoing commitment to provide clinicians with safe, effective solutions to meet the needs of their patients.

The RestoreSensor SureScan MRI neurostimulation system is one of the new Medtronic neurostimulation systems using Vectris SureScan MRI leads, which include PrimeAdvanced SureScan MRI, RestoreAdvanced SureScan MRI, and RestoreUltra SureScan MRI.

It has secured CE Mark in January 2013 and US FDA approval in March.

Image: Medtronic’s RestoreSensor SureScan MRI neurostimulator. Photo: courtesy of Medtronic.