Neuromuscular electrical stimulation for a dysphagic stroke patient with cardiac pacemaker using magnet mode change: A case report

Myeongkyu Kim, Mi Jung Kim, Jin Kyu Park, Ji Young Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND Electromagnetic interference (EMI), means disturbance to the operation of implanted electrical devices caused by external sources. If cardiac pacemaker is implanted into the body, the risk of EMI should be considered when performing neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES). So far, no case has been reported that clinical magnets are used to safely manage the EMI risk of patients with cardiac pacemaker in NMES. CASE SUMMARY A 72-year-old male with swallowing disorder due to pure motor lacunar syndrome was transferred to rehabilitation department six days after the symptom onset. EMI risk needed be considered when implementing NMES on pharyngeal muscles, since cardiac pacemaker was implanted on his left chest due to the sick sinus syndrome. In the first NMES, the function of the pacemaker was directly monitored using telemetric instruments. From the second day, by a simple method of placing a magnet on the pacemaker, we chose to move the pacemaker into a mode that the device was not influenced by external stimulus. This magnet method has been used repeatedly for a year for the safe NMES treatment. We could remove Levin tube four months after the initial symptom and dysphagia related symptoms had not been noted during two-year follow-up period. CONCLUSION This report is the first case of dysphagia rehabilitation that EMI risk was handled using mode change of pacemaker with magnet. This method is unfamiliar to doctors, but safe and easy approach. This paper could be guidance for clinicians who need to treat patients with EMI risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5313-5318
Number of pages6
JournalWorld Journal of Clinical Cases
Issue number19
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Case report
  • Dysphagia rehabilitation
  • Electromagnetic interference
  • Magnet
  • Neuromuscular electrical stimulation
  • Pacemaker


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