Two-phase survey on the frequency of use and safety of MRI for hearing implant recipients.

van de Heyning, Paul; Mertens, Griet; Topsakal, Vedat; de Brito, Ruben; Wimmer, Wilhelm; Caversaccio, Marco; Dazert, Stefan; Volkenstein, Stefan; Zernotti, Mario; Parnes, Lorne S; Staecker, Hinrich; Bruce, Iain A; Rajan, Gunesh; Atlas, Marcus; Friedland, Peter; Skarzynski, Piotr H; Sugarova, Serafima; Kuzovkov, Vladislav; Hagr, Abdulrahman; Mlynski, Robert; ... (2021). Two-phase survey on the frequency of use and safety of MRI for hearing implant recipients. European archives of oto-rhino-laryngology, 278(11), pp. 4225-4233. Springer 10.1007/s00405-020-06525-3

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used to visualize and diagnose soft tissues. Hearing implant (HI) recipients are likely to require at least one MRI scan during their lifetime. However, the MRI scanner can interact with the implant magnet, resulting in complications for the HI recipient. This survey, which was conducted in two phases, aimed to evaluate the safety and performance of MRI scans for individuals with a HI manufactured by MED-EL (MED-EL GmbH, Innsbruck, Austria).


A survey was developed and distributed in two phases to HEARRING clinics to obtain information about the use of MRI for recipients of MED-EL devices. Phase 1 focused on how often MRI is used in diagnostic imaging of the head region of the cochlear implant (CI) recipients. Phase 2 collected safety information about MRI scans performed on HI recipients.


106 of the 126 MRI scans reported in this survey were performed at a field strength of 1.5 T, on HI recipients who wore the SYNCHRONY CI or SYNCHRONY ABI. The head and spine were the most frequently imaged regions. 123 of the 126 scans were performed without any complications; two HI recipients experienced discomfort/pain. One recipient required reimplantation after an MRI was performed using a scanner that had not been approved for that implant. There was only one case that required surgical removal of the implant to reduce the imaging artefact.


Individuals with either a SYNCHRONY CI or SYNCHRONY ABI from MED-EL can safely undergo a 1.5 T MRI when it is performed according to the manufacturer's safety policies and procedures.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Head Organs and Neurology (DKNS) > Clinic of Ear, Nose and Throat Disorders (ENT)
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Hearing Research Laboratory

UniBE Contributor:

Wimmer, Wilhelm, Caversaccio, Marco


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Wilhelm Wimmer

Date Deposited:

28 Apr 2021 18:33

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 15:50

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

Auditory brainstem implant Bone conduction Cochlear implant Magnetic resonance imaging Middle ear implant Safety




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