Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a neuroimaging technique that uses a magnetic field to construct images of the body’s organs and tissue for medical examination and research. In the past cochlear implant devices which are surgically placed in patients with profound hearing loss have a magnetic component which interferes with the ability of these individuals to safely undergo vital MRI scans. In the past these individuals would have to risk magnet damage, displacement, and pain or discomfort during MRI scans.
A new product however has recently introduced a new product that will to overcome this drawback. MED-EL USA have recently announced that the FDA has approved their new Synchrony cochlear implant (CI), which means the Synchrony device will be able to be used without requiring the surgical removal of the internal magnet before a CI patient undergoes MRI scans. The implant is MR Conditional meaning it allows patients to undergo MRI scans at 3.0T with the magnet in place.
“According to MED-EL, the Synchrony’s magnet freely rotates during MRI and self-aligns within its titanium housing, greatly reducing implant torque and the risk of demagnetization during MRI scans. The conical shape of the removable magnet housing also reduces the risk of magnet dislocation or migration. Additionally, the magnet can only be removed from the bottom side of the implant, making dislocation of the magnet due to trauma nearly impossible”
The Device is one of the smallest and lightest titanium cochlear implants available and has designed to be at the forefront of technology, ready to accommodate future technology as it becomes available. In the past, Cochlear implants have damaged parts of the inner and in order to allow for possible advancements in cochlear technology, the device has been designed to help preserve the cochlear structures making it an appropriate choice for young CI candidates
“Synchrony incorporates MED-EL’s Flex electrode arrays, which are engineered to preserve delicate cochlear structures for future advancements, and to provide complete coverage of the cochlea for strong hearing performance.”
This advancement in technology allows for further testing of children that may be suspected of certain disorders via MRI scanning. Accurate and detailed diagnosis is advantageous further treatment by a number of professional including speech pathology to help provided the best quality individualised therapy. This advancement also allows individuals with the implant to safely participate in speech and hearing studies allowing for further advancements in the field.