Leadless cardiac pacemakers: present and the future

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Abstract

Purpose of review

Pacing technology for many decades has been composed of a generator attached to leads that are usually transvenous. Recently, leadless pacemakers have been studied in clinical settings and now available for use in many countries. This includes the single-component Nanostim Leadless Cardiac Pacemaker and Micra Transcatheter Pacing System, as well as the multicomponent Wireless Stimulation Endocardial system.

Recent findings

Clinical studies in single-component leadless pacing technology has shown that they can be successfully implanted with minimal complications. The follow-up studies also seem to confirm the findings from the initial clinical trials. These systems offer some advantages over a traditional pacing system comprised of a subcutaneous generator and transvenous leads.

Summary

In many ways, these leadless systems are disruptive technologies that are changing the traditional pacemaker concept and preferred for some patients. Ongoing research is needed to better assess their long-term function, safety, and end-of-life strategies. In the future, multichamber leadless pacing is expected to be developed and perhaps obviating the need for transvenous leads and their associated complications.

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