Advances in cardiac pacing: Beyond the transvenous right ventricular apical lead

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


While for decades right ventricular (RV) apical pacing has been the standard of care for patients requiring pacemaker or defibrillator lead placement, investigators have sought alternatives to achieve more physiologic electrical activation of the heart and reduce long-term pathologic effects of nonphysiologic apical pacing. These investigations have included attempts at identifying superior pacing sites within the right atrium and RV and development of new leads to enhance specificity of sensing and capture. This review focuses on recent advances in alternative sites for pacing and developments in novel pacing technology ranging from intramyocardial electrodes to leadless pacemakers. First, there have been several studies demonstrating potential benefits of site-specific pacing, including His bundle pacing and RV outflow tract pacing in potentially attenuating electromechanical dyssynchrony and long-term functional decline seen with RV apical pacing. Available options for lead placement have been enhanced by development of intramyocardial electrodes that may significantly reduce far-field oversensing and nonchamber specific capture. With development of intramyocardial electrodes, the potential for atrioventricular septal pacing has recently been described, making synchronous activation of both ventricles with a one-lead system possible without crossing the tricuspid valve and offering an alternative to modern cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). Finally, recent advances in leadless pacemaker systems using ultrasound or magnetic fields are briefly discussed. The results of these studies suggest that there may be options to the RV apex, made possible by novel lead and pacemaker technology. These advances can potentially aid in reducing long-term negative effects of chronic pacemaker therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)369-379
Number of pages11
JournalCardiovascular Therapeutics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2010


  • Cardiac pacing
  • Intramyocardial electrodes
  • Leadless pacing
  • Selective-site pacing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Advances in cardiac pacing: Beyond the transvenous right ventricular apical lead'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this