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Title: Surgeon Survey Shows No Adverse Events with MRI in Patients with Magnetically Controlled Growing Rods (MCGR)

Authors: Regina P. Woon, MPH, Lindsay M. Andras, MD, HilaliNoordeen, MD, Stephen Morris, MD, John Hutchinson, MD, Suken Shah, MD, Jeff Pawelek, BS, Charles Johnston, MD, David L. Skaggs, MD, MMM, Children’s Spine Study Group,Growing Spine Study Group

Journal: Spine Deform. 2018 May - Jun;6(3):299-302

Date: May 01, 2018

Excerpt: This study is the first reported use of MRI in humans with MCGR. In 10 patients, no adverse events were observed; however MRI of the thoracic and lumbar spine could not be interpreted due to artifact. Brain and cervical spine MRIs were able to be interpreted.

Keywords: Early-onset scoliosis; Magnetically Controlled Growth Rod; MCGR; MAGEC Rods; MRI


What is the purpose of this study?

MRIs are often needed in patients with EOS even after their initial diagnosis. There are concerns about the safety and effectiveness of MRIs for patients who have magnetically-controlled growth rods (MCGR) implanted. The purpose of this study is to determine if MRIs following implantation of magnetically controlled growing rods is associated with any adverse results.



118 surgeons were surveyed regarding MRI use in patients with MCGR implants. Of those surveyed, it was reported that 10 patients had an MRI post MCGR surgery.

  • MCGR function was not compromised following the MRI. This includes no observed movement of device, no magnet deactivation and no patient temperature change leading to tissue damage or neurological injuries.
  • Of the patients included in the study who had brain MRIs, the MRI results were clear and able to be interpreted.
  • Cervical spine MRIs were also able to be interpreted without too much artifact
  • MRIs of the thoracic and lumbar spine were not able to be interpreted because of metal artifact from the MCGR device.
  • The use of Metal Artifact Reduction Sequence (MARS) was used in two patients but did not result in improved visibility of MRI images.

Discussion Points

    The results of this study support the recent FDA clearance and safety for MRIs in patients with MCGR devices. No risks were found for MCGR device complication post MRI. EOS patients with a foreseeable need for MRIs of the brain and/or cervical spine can expect images from an MRI to be clear and able to be evaluated. However, since MRIs of the thoracic and lumbar spine do not provide images that can be evaluated properly, surgeons need to consider the risks and benefits associated with MRIs and MCGR devices in addition to considering the pros and cons of Traditional Growing Rods (TGR).