How Electrode Position Affects Selective His Bundle Capture: A Modelling Study

IEEE Trans Biomed Eng. 2021 Nov;68(11):3410-3416. doi: 10.1109/TBME.2021.3072334. Epub 2021 Oct 19.


In certain cardiac conduction system pathologies, like bundle branch block, block may be proximal, allowing for electrical stimulation of the more distal His bundle to most effectively restore activation. While selective stimulation of the His bundle is sought, surrounding myocardium may also be excited, resulting in nonselective pacing. The myocardium and His bundle have distinct capture thresholds, but the factors affecting whether His bundle pacing is selective or nonselective remain unelucidated.

Objective: We investigated the properties which affect the capture thresholds in order to improve selective pacing.

Methods: We performed biophysically detailed, computer simulations of a His fibre running through a septal wedge preparation to compute capture thresholds under various configurations of electrode polarity and orientation.

Results: The myocardial capture threshold was close to that of the His bundle. The His fibre needed to intersect with the electrode tip to favor its activation. Inserting the electrode fully within the septum increased the myocardial capture threshold. Reversing polarity, to rely on anode break excitation, also increased the ease of selective pacing.

Conclusion: Model results were consistent with clinical observations. For selective pacing, the tip needs to be in contact with the His fibre and anodal stimulation is preferable.

Significance: This study provides insight into helping establish electrode and stimulation parameters for selective His bundle pacing in patients.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bundle of His*
  • Bundle-Branch Block / therapy
  • Cardiac Pacing, Artificial*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrodes
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans