Physicians' Academy for Cardiovascular Education

Electric cars safe for patients with CIEDs

Electric Cars and Electromagnetic Interference With Cardiac Implantable Electronic Devices: A Cross-sectional Evaluation

Literature - Lennerz C, O'Connor M, Horlbeck L, et al. - Ann Intern Med. 2018; published online ahead of print

Introduction and methods

Cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs) may be compromised by electromagnetic interference (EMI), which causes pacing inhibition, inappropriate shock delivery, or device reprogramming. Electric cars are a potential source of EMI, but sufficient safety data are lacking as to whether their use should be restricted in patients with CIEDs.

This study set out to assess whether electric cars cause EMI and subsequent CIED dysfunction. For this purpose, 108 patients with CIEDs, which were optimally programmed to detect EMI according to established protocols [1], were tested for electric car use in 3 steps:

Hybrid cars were not tested. Participants with suspected lead malfunction or CIED battery life less than 3 months were excluded from the analysis.

Main results


Electric and magnetic fields generated during operation and charging of electric cars did not affect CIED function or programming. Electric cars seem to be safe for patients with CIEDs, and restrictions for use of these cars by patients with CIEDs do not seem necessary.


Show references

Find this article online at Ann Intern Med.

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