Implantable cardiac pacemakers have seen remarkable progress in the last sixty years and remained as cornerstone therapy for symptomatic bradycardia. Despite this progress the current day traditional transvenous implanted pacemaker systems are limited by the need for a surgically created pocket for the generator, indwelling leads in the vascular system and lastly passage through the tricuspid valve. A majority of the implant and explant related complications are due to the surgical pocket and indwelling leads. Leadless pacemakers represent a major leap in technology and emerged as an alternative to traditional systems promises to eliminate lead and pocket associated complications. As with any disruptive technology, some questions remain unanswered with the leadless pacing systems, specifically longevity and end of life management for the device. Despite the unknowns, as the technology progresses, it is possible that pacing leads will become extinct and pacemakers will miniaturize even further. This review summarizes the available technology, implant and explant details, and long-term safety and efficacy data for leadless pacemakers.
Credits: Krishna Kancharla, MD, Abhishek J. Deshmukh, MD, Paul A. Friedman, MD