Electromagnetic interference of digital and analog cellular telephones with implantable cardioverter defibrillators: In vitro and in vivo studies

Vincenzo Barbaro, P. Bartolini, F. Bellocci, F. Caruso, A. Donato, D. Gabrielli, C. Militello, A. S. Montenero, P. Zecchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The present study examines the potential electromagnetic interference effects induced by cellular telephones on ICDs. We developed ad hoc protocols to conduct both in vitro and in vivo trials on most of the implantable cardioverter defibrillators available on the international market. Trials were conducted with three cellular telephones: two GSM (Global System for Mobile Communication) and one TACS (Total Access Communication System). A human trunk simulator was used to carry out in vitro observations on six ICDs from five manufacturers. In vivo tests were conducted on 13 informed patients with eight different ICD models. During the trials in air, GSM telephones induced interference effects on 4 out of the 6 cardioverter defibrillators tested. Specifically, pulse inhibition, reprogramming, false ventricular fibrillation, and ventricular tachycardia detections occurred, which would have entailed inappropriate therapy delivery had this been activated. Effects were circumscribed to the area closely surrounding the connectors. When the ICD was immersed in saline solution, no effects were observed. Three cases of just ventricular triggering with the interfering signal were observed in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)626-634
Number of pages9
JournalPACE - Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology
Volume22
Issue number4 I
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

Keywords

  • Cellular telephones
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Implantable defibrillator

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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