Biventricular cardiac pacemaker

Last revised by Dr Joachim Feger on 30 Oct 2021

Biventricular cardiac pacemakers are surgically implanted cardiac conduction devices with one lead in each ventricle (and often one in the right atrium) used for cardiac resynchronization therapy.

A biventricular pacemaker is generally used for cardiac resynchronization therapy in patients with severe heart failure who are not controlled well on maximal medical therapy and who have a prolonged QRS duration on ECG (i.e. bundle branch block). In bundle branch block, the affected conduction bundle delays conduction of the depolarization wave and thereby delays ventricular contraction. This means, for example, in the setting of a left bundle branch block the left ventricle will contract after the right, resulting in a broad QRS complex. Pacing leads are implanted into both ventricles and the device generates electrical impulses in order to stimulate both ventricles to contract simultaneously (and thereby improve the patient's symptoms and functional status).

It should not be confused with other implantable devices in the chest such as:

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Cases and figures

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