are reed switches always closed in strong magnetic fields?
MRI is established as an important diagnostic tool in medicine. However, the presence of a cardiac pacemaker is usually regarded as a contraindication for MRI due to safety reasons. The aim of this study was to investigate the state of a pacemaker reed switch in different orientations and positions in the main magnetic field of 0.5-, 1.5-, and 3.0-T MRI scanners. Reed switches used in current pacemakers and ICDs were tested in 0.5-, 1.5-, and 3.0-T MRI scanners. The closure of isolated reed switches was evaluated for different orientations and positions relative to the main magnetic field. The field strengths to close and open the reed switch and the orientation dependency of the closed state inside the main magnetic field were investigated. The measurements were repeated using two intact pacemakers to evaluate the potential influence of the other magnetic components, like the battery. If the reed switches were oriented parallel to the magnetic fields, they closed at 1.0 +/- 0.2 mT and