Electric Cars Safe With Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices

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No episodes of over-sensing or under-sensing, inappropriate pacing or pacing inhibition, or device reprograming were seen.
No episodes of over-sensing or under-sensing, inappropriate pacing or pacing inhibition, or device reprograming were seen.

HealthDay News — Electric cars seem to be safe for patients with cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), and do not result in electromagnetic interference (EMI), according to a study published online April 24 in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Carsten Lennerz, M.D., from the Technische Universität München in Germany, and colleagues optimized CIED programming to detect EMI according to established protocols among patients with CIEDs seen in an electrophysiology clinic. A total of 108 participants with CIEDs from seven manufacturers were assigned to one of four electric cars. Testing involved three components: participants sat in the front seat while cars ran on a roller test bench; participants charged the same car; and participants drove the cars on public roads.

The researchers found that there was no correlation between assigned car and CIED type or specific indication. Field strength was generally highest during charging and increased with increasing charging current. There was no evidence of EMI with CIEDs. No episodes of over-sensing or under-sensing, inappropriate pacing or pacing inhibition, or device reprograming were seen (incidence of EMI, 0 percent). Pacing thresholds, sensing, and lead impedance remained unchanged in post-exposure testing. EMI was observed in the electrocardiographic recorder, but there was no effect on CIED function and programming.

"Electric cars seem safe for patients with CIEDs, and restrictions do not appear to be required," the authors write. "However, we recommend vigilance to monitor for rare events, especially those associated with charging and proposed 'supercharging' technology."

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