To evaluate the electrical performance of new electrode technologies, 24 leads containing either carbon coated porous titanium (BIOPORE, (Intermedics, Inc., Freeport, TX], iridium oxide (IROX), or iridium oxide coated with polyethylene glycol (IROX-PEG) electrodes (eight of each) were implanted into the ventricles of 12 canines. Stimulation threshold data was measured at regular intervals for 24 weeks. Low acute values were observed for all leads (0.32 +/- .13 V at 0.6 msec pulse width), but the IROX-PEG electrode demonstrated lower subchronic, peak, and chronic values. Compared to implant, the IROX-PEG electrodes' stimulation thresholds rose only 0.23 V when chronic conditions occurred. There were no significant differences between the electrodes in pacing impedance or R wave amplitude measurements. We conclude that both IROX and IROX-PEG technologies represent a promising approach to the design of more efficient cardiac pacing leads.