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Safety and MRI

Manufacturer Safety information is at the bottom of the page.



Cochlear implants (CI) all have an internal magnet; some – but not all – models are compatible with MRI scanning.  Some may need magnet removal before scanning; in some patients MRI scanning cannot happen at all. MRI guidelines must be followed – regardless of which part of the body is being scanned.  If a patient with a cochlear implant needs an MRI scan, please refer to the manufacturer safety guidelines above and contact the patient’s cochlear implant centre.  MRI guidelines may differ in other countries, so please ensure you follow the links above which will provide UK information.

We now have six MRI resources for you; several are approved by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine (IPEM):

Online training for radiologists
Patient information leaflet
Magnet displacement protocol
Protocol writing guidance
Magnetic fields and heating guidance
‘How was your MRI?’ questionnaire

Online training for radiologists

The Manchester Auditory Implant team has developed an online training resource for radiologists on cochlear implants. 

Please ask your local radiologists to view the resource.  CPD is available from the Society of Radiographers.

Magnet Resonance Imaging and Auditory Implantation Radiographer Training Session

Welcome from BCIG

Advanced Bionics Magnet Removal Video

Advanced Bionics Presentation

How to do a head wrap compressed

Distortion reduction

Complications of MRI in patients with auditory implants

Patient Experience in Manchester

Patient information leaflet

We have put together a four-page general information leaflet for people with cochlear implants who are referred for an MRI scan. It has been approved for clarity by the Plain English Campaign. Thank you to the working group who gave so much time to this. 

Download the leaflet here or view the BSL signed version below:

There are also leaflets available for people who find reading difficult about MRI scans, although these are NOT specifically for people with cochlear implants, and do not mention cochlear implants.

Having an MRI scan (simple text)

MRI scan (more simple)

Magnet displacement protocol

Have a look at our one-page guide on what to do if there is magnet displacement.

Download the guidance here 

Protocol writing guidance

Please use this protocol in conversation with your Magnetic Resonance Safety Expert (MRSE). If you are the MRSE, you may find this protocol a useful prompt or use it to facilitate a methodical process.

Download the guidance here 

Magnetic fields and heating guidance

Here is some technical information for MRI specialists.

Download the guidance here 

‘How was your MRI?’ questionnaire

We would like people with cochlear implants to fill in a questionnaire about their experience of having an MRI scan with a CI. This will allow us to identify any issues and improve the care of people with CI. We would like to collect data nationally, but we don’t want patient names and identifiable data. The MRI group has designed a questionnaire; clinicians can duplicate and send it to their patients. Patient names can then be removed and the data shared with BCIG.

Here are the clinician instructions on how to use the questionnaire.

There is also a paper version here that can be used for people without online access. Please ask patients to post it back to your clinic.

There is a BSL signed video available here:

 Reporting a device problem to the MHRA

While healthcare professionals are not required to report adverse incidents involving devices to the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), we strongly encourage reporting via Yellow Card. This includes adverse incidents with cochlear implants following an MRI scan.

Yellow Card reports help to detect any adverse trends. Anyone can make a report.
Please find more information here.

Please note the British Society of Audiology guidance on hearing device provision for patients with a programmable ventriculo-peritoneal (PVP) shunt, published August 2020.

Please contact the CI manufacturer for specific safety information and see the info below:

Advanced Bionics – updated March 2020

Cochlear – updated March 2020

MED-EL – updated October 2020

Oticon Medical – updated January 2022




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Membership of the BCIG is open to anyone who has a clinical role in the field of auditory implants, or who is actively involved in research into auditory implants or who represents other allied non-commercial organisations.


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