EMF Health-effects Research

The absence of interference between GSM mobile telephones and implantable defibrillators: an in-vivo study. Groupe Systemes Mobiles

Sanmartin M, Fernandez Lozano I, Marquez J, Antorrena I, Bautista A, Silva L, Ortigosa J, de Artaza M

Rev Esp Cardiol 50(10):715-719, 1997

[Article in Spanish]

INTRODUCTION AND OBJECTIVES: The electromagnetic field created by mobile telephones can cause pacemaker dysfunction. Although implantable cardioverter defibrillators are also susceptible to electromagnetic interference, few studies have addressed this issue and compatibility with the GSM mode has not been tested. This study was developed to detect possible "in vivo" interference between GSM mobile telephones and implantable cardioverter defibrillators.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study group is composed of 30 patients with 8 different models of defibrillators. Twenty six had endocardial leads and 4 epicardial. Three GSM mobile phones were used: Siemens S3 COM and Motorola 6200 in all cases and Ericsson GA 318 in one. The tests were performed under continuous electrocardiographic monitoring. All therapies were deactivated and sensitivities were set to maximal parameters. The telephones were positioned in close contact to the defibrillator can and precordium, in two different angles. Three situations were evaluated: calling, established contact for 15 seconds and ringing. The protocol was repeated during pacing to assess the possibility of pacemaker mode inhibition.

RESULTS: No cases of electromagnetic interference were observed. One patient presented non-sustained ventricular tachycardia episodes during the tests that were detected by the defibrillator.

CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that electromagnetic interference by GSM mobile phones are not a probable cause of implantable defibrillators dysfunction.

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