OBJECTIVES: The goal of this study was to assess long-term global left ventricular (LV) function in patients paced from the right ventricular (RV) apex at a young age. BACKGROUND: Ventricular contraction asynchrony with short-term RV apical pacing has been associated with reduced LV pump function and relaxation. The long-term effect of RV apical pacing on global LV function in the young remains unknown. METHODS: Twenty-four patients with normal segmental anatomy paced from the RV apex (follow-up 1 to 19 years) underwent noninvasive assessment of global LV function with automated border detection echocardiography-derived fractional area of change (FAC), coupled with the Doppler index of myocardial performance (MPI). Data were analyzed from 24 RV-paced patients (mean follow-up 9.5 years, age 19 years, body surface area [BSA] 1.6 m2, QRS duration 140 ms) and compared with 33 age- and BSA-matched control subjects (age 16.4 years, BSA 1.6 m2). Multiple linear regression analysis was performed to identify patient variables that can affect these indexes of LV function. RESULTS: Assessment of LV function (median follow-up 10 years) in 24 paced patients demonstrated impaired area- and Doppler flow-derived indexes of LV systolic and diastolic function, compared with those indexes of control subjects (FAC: 52% vs. 60%, p < 0.01; MPI: 0.46 vs. 0.34, p < 0.01). Paced QRS interval and age were found to significantly influence global LV contraction in these patients (R2 = 0.4, p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: In the presence of impaired LV function with long-term RV apical pacing, alternative sites of ventricular pacing that simulate normal biventricular electrical activation should be explored to preserve function in pediatric patients in need of long-term pacing.