Magnets and implantable cardioverter defibrillators: What's the problem?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


A growing number of surgical patients present to the operating room with implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICD). Peri-operative care of these patients dictates that ICD function be suspended for many surgical procedures to avoid inappropriate, and possibly harmful, ICD therapy triggered by electromagnetic interference (EMI). An alternative to reprogramming the ICD is the use of a magnet to temporarily suspend its function. However, this approach is not without complications. We report a case where magnet use failed to inhibit ICD sensing of EMI, and a shock was delivered to the patient. Measures to decrease EMI, controversies regarding magnet use, and expert recommendations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-57
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Cardiac Anaesthesia
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Implantable cardioverter defibrillators
  • Inhibition of implantable cardioverter defibrillators therapy
  • Magnet position

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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