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Heart Rhythm. 2005 Aug;2(8):837-41.

Reliability of electromagnetic filters of cardiac pacemakers tested by cellular telephone ringing.

Author information

1
Department of Cardiology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Marseille, Marseille, France. alexandre.trigano@mail.ap-hm.fr

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

State-of-the art cardiac pacemakers are protected against radiofrequency signals. Although there have been earlier clinical and in vitro reports of cellular phone interference with implantable devices, only a few studies have been performed in recent years. The ringing phase of digital GSM or PCS cellular phones includes a brief period of peak radiated power.

OBJECTIVES:

This study tested the protection offered by electromagnetic filters of cardiac pacemakers against cellular phone ringing.

METHODS:

We performed 330 consecutive tests in 158 patients at the time of routine examination in our pacemaker follow-up clinic. The programmed parameters remained unchanged before testing. During electrocardiographic monitoring, 2 single-band digital cellular phones consecutively placed over the pacemaker pocket each received a call. The phone systems tested were 1) GSM at a maximal power output of 2 W, operating on a 900 MHz carrier frequency, and 2) PCS at a maximal output of 1 W, operating on a 1800 MHz carrier frequency.

RESULTS:

Interference was noted in only 5 tests, due to interaction by the GSM system with 4 unprotected pacemaker models. The GSM test was negative in 12 other tests of identical pulse generator models. The overall incidence of interference was 1.5% of tests.

CONCLUSIONS:

Interference by cellular phone ringing occurred only with unprotected pacemaker models. Standard programming of these unprotected models was associated with a low incidence of interference.

Comment in

PMID:
16051120
DOI:
10.1016/j.hrthm.2005.03.011
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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