Electromagnetic interference between implantable cardiac devices and continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices: a review

Jonathan S. Gordon, Elizabeth J. Maynes, Thomas J. O’Malley, Behzad B. Pavri, Vakhtang Tchantchaleishvili*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Many patients with continuous-flow left ventricular assist devices (CF-LVAD) have other, co-existing implantable cardiac devices. While such devices often function appropriately, there is potential for electromagnetic interference (EMI). A literature review was performed to identify cases of EMI between CF-LVAD and other implanted cardiac devices to better understand their etiology, outcomes, and the strategies used to overcome such interference. The cases identified included interference between CF-LVAD and pacemakers, implantable cardioverter-defibrillators, and cardiac resynchronization therapy. The EMI reported in the current literature can be broken down into two general categories: interference leading to difficulty establishing telemetry and interference leading to impaired electrical signal sensing. Such interference led to inappropriate shock delivery in some cases. The type of interference, and thus treatments, differed and were device dependent. The strategies employed to reduce interference included metal shielding, physical manipulation to increase the distance between devices, and even exchange of the implanted device with another brand of the same class. To avoid such EMI in the future, physicians must be aware of the reported interference between certain devices, and manufacturers must work more closely to increase the compatibility of implanted cardiac devices.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Interventional Cardiac Electrophysiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • CRT
  • EMI
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • ICD
  • Implantable cardioverter-defibrillator
  • Left ventricular assist device
  • Pacemaker


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