Right ventricular pacemaker lead position is associated with differences in long-term outcomes and complications

Chance M. Witt, Charles J. Lenz, Henry H. Shih, Elisa Ebrille, Andrew N. Rosenbaum, Martin van Zyl, Htin Aung, Kevin K. Manocha, Abhishek J. Deshmukh, David O. Hodge, Siva K. Mulpuru, Yong Mei Cha, Raul E. Espinosa, Samuel J. Asirvatham, Christopher J. Mcleod

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Introduction: Cardiac pacing from the right ventricular apex is associated with detrimental long-term effects and nonapical pacing locations may be associated with improved outcomes. There is little data regarding complications with nonapical lead positions. The aim of this study was to assess long-term outcomes and lead-related complications associated with differing ventricular lead tip position. Methods and results: All adult patients who underwent dual-chamber pacemaker implantation from 2004 to 2014 were included if they had postprocedure chest radiographs amenable to lead position determination. Long-term outcomes and lead-related complication rates were recorded. These were compared at 5 years between: (1) apical and septal leads, (2) apical and nonseptal nonapical (NSNA), and (3) apical and septal with >40% ventricular pacing. We retrospectively evaluated 3,450 patients, which included 238 with a septal position and 733 with NSNA lead positions. Septal lead position was associated with a lower mortality compared to apical leads (24% vs. 31%, P = 0.02). In patients with greater than 40% pacing, septal leads were associated with significantly higher rates of incident atrial fibrillation compared to apical leads (49% vs. 34%, P = 0.04). NSNA positions were associated with a significantly higher rate of lead dislodgement (4% vs. 2%, P = 0.005) and need for revision (8% vs. 5%, P = 0.005). Conclusions: Septal pacemaker lead position is associated with a lower mortality compared to apically placed leads, but a higher incidence of atrial fibrillation with higher percentage ventricular pacing. NSNA lead locations are associated with more complications and should be avoided.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)924-930
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of cardiovascular electrophysiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2017


  • atrial fibrillation
  • cardiomyopathy
  • complications
  • heart failure
  • mortality
  • ventricular pacing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Physiology (medical)


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