Electromagnetic Navigation Bronchoscopy (ENB) (InReach iLogic system; superDimension Inc) is a relatively new discipline, with promising diagnostic and therapeutic applications in patients with lung lesions. Navigation is performed in a magnetic field and, therefore, has been considered relatively contraindicated in patients with pacemakers and automated implantable cardioverter-defibrillators (AICDs). Potential risks include altering the function and shutting off the device, device damage, lead displacement, and potential overheating. Over the past decade, there has been extensive literature about the safety of pacemakers in either the 1.5-T or 3-T magnetic fields used in current MRI scanners. Although the magnetic field used in ENB is significantly weaker, 0.0001 T or approximately equal to the earth’s gravity, its safety in patients with pacemakers is yet to be elucidated. We present our initial experience with ENB in patients with cardiac implanted electrical devices.
Twenty-four procedures in 24 patients with lung lesions and permanent pacemakers were performed. A cardiac electrophysiologist and programmer were present during the procedure. At baseline, the pacers were interrogated, and ECG was recorded. Continuous cardiac monitoring was performed during the procedure, and at the end, the pacer settings and function were reinterrogated to check for any changes.
The procedures were all successfully concluded. None of the patients suffered any arrhythmias or disruption to their pacemakers’ function.
ENB appears to be safe when performed in patients with pacemakers and AICDs. Larger multicenter studies are needed to prove the final safety in this patient population.