Chapter 4: MRI Safety for ICD & Pacemaker Patients

Yet another study has confirmed the safety of MRIs in patients with non-MRI conditional ICDs and pacemakers.

The latest study, from the University of Pennsylvania and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, found no adverse effects from 1.5 Tesla MRI scans performed on 1509 patients who underwent a total of 2103 scans.  58% had pacemakers and 42% had ICDs.

This study confirms previous findings relating to the safety of MRIs in ICD and pacemaker patients reported by HCMBeat here and here.

You can also read my personal experience trying to get a brain MRI in Los Angeles last year here.

Atrial Fibrillation: Treatable HCM Complication

Updated to include editorial by Dr. Paolo Spirito in recent issue of Circulation.

HCM Beat

A recent paper by doctors at Tufts University’s HCM Center found that transient episodes of atrial fibrillation (AF) are treatable and do not often progress to permanent AF.

This study found that AF was not a frequent cause of death by heart failure or sudden cardiac arrest.  However, the researchers identified AF as an important cause of stroke in HCM patients.  Therefore, they recommend a low threshold for starting HCM patients on anti-coagulants following an initial AF episode.

Researchers in this study analyzed statistics from 1558 HCM patients, 20% of whom experienced AF.  74% experienced only sporadic episodes, while 26% went on to develop permanent AF.

At the time of publication, 91% of the 277 of the patients included in the sample were still alive and between the ages 49 and 75 years old.

According to an accompanying editorial by Italian HCM expert Dr. Paolo Spirito, the outlook for HCM…

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Pippa Middleton’s 1st Post-Wedding Appearance at HCM Fundraiser

Updated to include a link to a BBC interview with Miles Frost’s brother Wilfred about his brother and father’s deaths from HCM.

HCM Beat

Pippa Middleton, (sister of Dutchess Katherine of Cambridge and sister-in-law of Prince William) and her brand new husband, James Matthews,  made their first public appearance as a married couple at a fundraiser for the Miles Frost Fund.  The Frost Fund, founded in memory of Middleton’s late friend Miles Frost who died from undiagnosed HCM, raises money for genetic testing of family members who have lost a close relative to sudden cardiac arrest, as well as funding HCM research.

Pippa, just back from her honeymoon to French Polynesia and Australia, looked refreshed in her white jumper and carried a red heart-shaped clutch to emphasize the purpose of the occasion.

The fundraiser also attracted other royals such as Princess Eugenie and Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York.

Here is a video of Wilfred Frost, brother of Miles Frost and son of Sir David Frost, talking about his father and brother’s deaths and the formation…

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Racial Differences in HCM

A recent study of U.K. HCM patients compared a racially mixed sample of 425 patients, including 163 black patients and 262 Caucasians.  The study concluded that while asymmetric septal hypertrophy was the predominant pattern in both ethnic groups, black patients had more instances of apical and concentric hypertrophy, which could, in turn, be responsible for delayed diagnosis of these patients.