Chronic right ventricle (RV) apical (RVA) pacing is standard treatment for an atrioventricular (AV) block but may be deleterious to left ventricle (LV) systolic function. Previous clinical studies of non-apical pacing have produced conflicting results. The aim of this randomized, prospective, international, multicentre trial was to compare change in LV ejection fraction (LVEF) between right ventricular apical and high septal (RVHS) pacing over a 2-year study period.We randomized 240 patients (age 74 ± 11 years, 67% male) with a high-grade AV block requiring >90% ventricular pacing and preserved baseline LVEF >50%, to receive pacing at the RVA (n = 120) or RVHS (n = 120). At 2 years, LVEF decreased in both the RVA (57 ± 9 to 55 ± 9%, P = 0.047) and the RVHS groups (56 ± 10 to 54 ± 10%, P = 0.0003). However, there was no significant difference in intra-patient change in LVEF between confirmed RVA (n = 85) and RVHS (n = 83) lead position (P = 0.43). There were no significant differences in heart failure hospitalization, mortality, the burden of atrial fibrillation, or plasma brain natriutetic peptide levels between the two groups. A significantly greater time was required to place the lead in the RVHS position (70 ± 25 vs. 56 ± 24 min, P < 0.0001) with longer fluoroscopy times (11 ± 7 vs. 5 ± 4 min, P < 0.0001).In patients with a high-grade AV block and preserved LV function requiring a high percentage of ventricular pacing, RVHS pacing does not provide a protective effect on left ventricular function over RVA pacing in the first 2 years.ClinicalTrials.gov number NCT00461734.