In Vivo Study of Electromagnetic Interference With Pacemakers Caused by Everyday Electric and Magnetic Fields
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- cardiac resynchronization therapy devices
- clinical study
- electromagnetic fields
- pacemaker, artificial
- power sources
- threshold limit values
In daily life and occupational environments, individuals generally encounter electric and magnetic fields (EMFs). They occur mainly with frequencies of 50 Hz/60 Hz, the worldwide power grid frequencies. Examples of EMF sources are power lines, household appliances, electric tools, entertainment electronics, and many different kinds of equipment at work. Electric fields are indicated in kilovolts per meter (kVm-1); magnetic fields, in micro-Tesla (μT).
To date, there is no conclusive evidence for the extent to which sources of EMF may cause harmful electromagnetic interference (EMI) in patients with pacemakers or implantable cardioverter-defibrillators. Clinical guidelines on the perioperative management of patients with pacemakers/implantable cardioverter-defibrillators and review articles state that large clinical evaluations and robust scientific data are missing.1,2
An in vivo study from our group suggests that 50-Hz EMFs can disturb implantable cardioverter-defibrillator function in patients,3 but no systematic evaluation has been performed on their effect on pacemaker function. Considering the different sensing algorithms of implantable cardioverter-defibrillators and pacemakers, 2 questions arise: Does exposure to daily life or occupational EMFs disturb regular pacemaker function? And to what level of EMFs are the wearers of pacemakers safe? Therefore, the present in vivo study (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT01626261) sought to determine interference thresholds of pacemakers and to ascertain different conditions for EMI.
Of the 119 …