Magnetic imaging devices may damage cochlear implants
Ten years ago, the Chinese National Human Genome Center at Shanghai (South Center, hereafter) was established in the Zhangjiang HiTech Park of Pudong District in Shanghai. To commemorate this important event, which marks the beginning of the Genomics Era in China, we specially organize a series of mini-reviews for this special issue. We hope that
Full Post: Genomics in China
Patients with cochlear implants may want to steer clear of certain magnetic imaging devices, such as 3T MRI machines, because the machines can demagnetize the patient’s implant, according to new research published in the December 2008 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery.
A cochlear implant is an electronic device that restores partial hearing to the deaf. It is surgically implanted in the inner ear and activated by a device worn outside the ear. Unlike a hearing aid, it does not make sound louder or clearer. Instead, the device bypasses damaged parts of the auditory system and directly stimulates the nerve of hearing, allowing individuals who are profoundly hearing impaired to receive sound. It is estimated that more than 100,000 people have cochlear implants.
The study, conducted by a team of German and American researchers, tested several cochlear device magnets on a 3T MRI scanner with active shielding at a variety of angles (0, 80?, 90?, 100?, 110?, and 180?). The researchers discovered that during routine use of 3T MRI machines at angles above 80?, an unacceptable level of demagnetization was reached, causing permanent damage to devices with non-removable magnets, and creating the potential of exposing patients to undesirable magnetic forces.
3T MRI scanners are the next generation of MRI scanners and are significantly more powerful than 1.5T MRI scanners.
As a result of their findings, the study authors recommend that MRI scans on patients with cochlear implants should be performed using a 3T MRI machine only if a 1.5T machine is not available, and if the benefits of the scan far outweigh the risk of cochlear implant demagnetization.
Physicians at the University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago performed a rare surgery this week to restore hearing to a deaf patient. Marisela Leon, 44, has neurofibromatosis type 2 — a rare genetic condition that causes tumors to grow on nerves in the brain or spinal cord, but most commonly on the auditory nerve.
Full Post: Physicians perform rare surgery to restore hearing to a deaf patient
Headphones for MP3 players placed within an inch of pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) may interfere with these devices, according to research presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2008. Researchers investigated the effects of MP3 player headphones, most of which contain the magnetic substance neodymium, on the operation of implanted cardiac devices
Full Post: Headphones for MP3 players interfere with heart defibrillators, pacemakers
A prototype of a therapeutic ultrasound device, developed by a Cornell graduate student, fits in the palm of a hand, is battery-powered and packs enough punch to stabilize a gunshot wound or deliver drugs to brain cancer patients. It is wired to a ceramic probe, called a transducer, and it creates sound waves so strong
Full Post: Miniature therapeutic ultrasound device
A team of researchers led by North Carolina State University has made a breakthrough that could lead to new dialysis devices and a host of other revolutionary medical implants. The researchers have found that the unique properties of a new material can be used to create new devices that can be implanted into the human
Full Post: Nanoporous ceramic membranes could provide breakthroughs for implantable medical devices
Scientists here and in France have made a new theoretical advance in atomic behavior that could lead to sharper magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) pictures. The discovery could one day help enable the development of portable MRI machines. In the November 25 online issue of the Journal of Chemical Physics, they explain why scientists couldn’t completely
Full Post: Out of control atoms provide sharper MRI images