The road to right ventricular septal pacing: techniques and tools

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2010 Jul;33(7):888-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8159.2010.02777.x. Epub 2010 Apr 26.


Prolonged right ventricular (RV) apical pacing is associated with progressive left ventricular dysfunction due to dysynchronous ventricular activation and contraction. RV septal pacing allows a narrower QRS compared to RV apical pacing, which might reflect a more physiological and synchronous ventricular activation. Previous clinical studies, which did not consistently achieve RV septal pacing, were not confirmatory and need to be repeated. This review summarizes the anatomy of the RV septum, the radiographic appearances of pacing leads in the RV, the electrocardiograph correlates of RV septal lead positioning, and the techniques and tools required for implantation of an active-fixation lead onto the RV septum. Using the described techniques and tools, conventional active-fixation leads can now be reliably secured to either the RV outflow tract septum or mid-RV septum with very low complication rates and good long-term performance. Even though physiologic and hemodynamic studies on true RV septal pacing have not been completed, the detrimental effects of long-term RV apical pacing are significant enough to suggest that it is now time to leave the RV apex and secure all RV leads onto the septum.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial / methods*
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial / trends*
  • Heart Septum*
  • Heart Ventricles*
  • Humans
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / methods*
  • Therapy, Computer-Assisted / trends*
  • Ventricular Dysfunction, Right / prevention & control*