Medtronic: EU OKs New MRI-Safe Pacemaker

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Medical-device maker Medtronic Inc. said Friday it received European Union marketing approval for a new version of a pacemaker that can be used in an MRI machine.

Medtronic said the Advisa DR MRI SureScan pacing system has been approved. The company said patients with pacemaker implants are discouraged from having MRI scans because the machinery could interfere with the functioning of the pacemaker. The Minneapolis company estimated that between 50 and 75 percent of pacemaker patients worldwide need an MRI scan at some point, and that about 2 million Europeans have pacemakers.

MRI, or magnetic resonance imaging, sends radio waves into the body to allow doctors to view blood vessels, bones, joints and organs without X-rays, surgery, or radiation.

The Advisa MRI SureScan pacing system isn't available for sale in the United States.

In morning trading, Medtronic shares rose 90 cents, or 2.7 percent, to $34.25.