Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

OBJECTIVES: Optimal right ventricular lead placement remains controversial. Large studies investigating the safety and long-term prognosis of apical and septal right ventricular lead placement have been lacking. METHODS: Consecutive patients undergoing pacemaker insertion for high-degree atrioventricular block at Edinburgh Heart Centre were investigated. Periprocedural 30-day complications were defined (infection/bleeding/pneumothorax/tamponade/lead displacement). Long-term clinical outcomes were obtained from the General Register of Scotland and electronic medical records. The primary endpoint was a composite of all-cause mortality, new heart failure, hospitalisation for a major cardiovascular event, as per the CArdiac REsynchronization in Heart Failure trial. Secondary endpoints were all-cause mortality, new heart failure and their composite. RESULTS: 820 patients were included, 204 (25%) paced from the septum and 616 (75%) from the apex. All baseline variables were similar with the exception of age (septal: 73.2±1.1 vs apical: 76.9±0.5 years, p<0.001). Procedure duration (58±23 vs 55±25 min, p=0.3), complication rates (18 (8.8) vs 46 (7.5)%, p=0.5) and postimplant QRS duration (152 (23) vs 154 (27) ms, p=0.4) were similar. After 1041 days (IQR 564), 278 patients met the primary endpoint, with no difference between the septal and apical groups in unadjusted (HR 0.86 (95% CIs 0.64 to 1.15)) or multivariable analysis correcting for age, gender and comorbidity (HR 0.97 (95% CI 0.72 to 1.30)). Similarly, no differences were observed in the secondary endpoints. CONCLUSIONS: This large real-world cohort of patients undergoing right ventricular lead placement in the septum or apex demonstrated no difference in procedural complications nor long-term clinical outcomes. Both pacing strategies appear reasonable in routine practice.

Original publication




Journal article


Open heart

Publication Date





apical pacing, right ventricular pacing, septal pacing