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UC San Diego Health has made history by successfully implanting the world’s first dual-chamber and leadless pacemaker system to assist in treating individuals with irregular heart rhythms, also known as arrhythmias. These conditions can lead to complications such as palpitations, fainting, and stroke. Atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia, is expected to affect around 12.1 million people in the United States by 2030, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs) are typically used to regulate irregular heartbeats.

The newly approved leadless pacemaker system, cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in July 2023, is placed in both chambers of the heart and utilizes innovative communication technology to provide a less invasive option for patients. UC San Diego Health performed the first implantation of this pacemaker system in a patient in February 2024.

Dr. Ulrika Birgersdotter-Green, a cardiologist and director of pacemaker and ICD services at UC San Diego Health, expressed excitement about the new technology, stating, “To have the option to use a leadless pacemaker system on both sides of the heart will allow us to treat more individuals currently living with heart arrhythmias.” Approximately 80% of patients who receive a pacemaker require a dual-chamber option. While leadless pacemakers have been preferred by patients, they were previously only available for individuals needing pacing on one side of the heart.

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