Vascular Medicine Institute
University of Pittsburgh
BST E1240
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-5853
Fax: 412-648-5980

Samir F. Saba, MD




Samir Saba, MD

Chief, Cardiac Electrophysiology

Director, Cardiac Electrophysiology Laboratory

Associate Professor of Medicine,
Division of Cardiology

B-535, UPMC Presbyterian
200 Lothrop Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Phone: 412-647-6272
Fax: 412-647-7979
Email: sabas@upmc.edu

Assistant: Bonnie Burgman
Email: burgmanbl@upmc.edu

UPMC Profile

Saba Lab



Samir Saba (BE 1989, MD 1993) received his Bachelors degree in Electrical Engineering in 1985 from the American University of Beirut and his Medical degree in 1993 from the same institution. He then finished his training in Internal Medicine (1993-1996), in Cardiolovascular Diseases (1996-1999), and in Cardiac Electrophysiology (1999-2000) all at the Tufts University – New England Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, prior to joining the faculty of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center as an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the field of Cardiac Electrophysiology. Starting in 2005, Dr. Saba was appointed chief of the Cardiac Electrophysiology section and director of the cardiac electrophysiology laboratories at the University of Pittsburgh medical Center. He was promoted to Associate Professor of Medicine and of Clinical and Translational Science in 2009. He was granted tenure by the University of Pittsburgh in August 2014. He is currently a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and of the Heart Rhythm Society.

Clinical Interests

Dr. Saba’s clinical interest and expertise have focused on the management of arrhythmias and conduction abnormalities of the heart. He has wide experience in implanting and managing all cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIED), including pacemakers, defibrillators, and cardiac resynchronization therapy devices. He also has expertise in ablation procedures of ventricular and supraventricular arrhythmias including atrial fibrillation and ischemic ventricular tachycardia. In addition, Dr. Saba is nationally recognized for his expertise in CIED lead management, including lead extractions.

On the research front, Dr. Saba has served as principal investigator on more than 20 clinical research protocol involving human subjects. He also lead the STARTER randomized controlled trial which examined the role of Speckle tracking echocardiography-guided left ventricular lead placement on mortality and other outcomes in cardiac resynchronization therapy patients. Dr. Saba currently serves as the international principal investigator on the LONGEVITY trial which examines the battery longevity of current generation defibrillators.

Academic and Research Interests

Dr. Saba has authored more than 160 manuscripts that were published in peer-reviewed journals and has been issued 3 patents for inventions in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. Dr. Saba is the recipient of research grants from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the American Heart Foundation, and the American College of Cardiology. His research interests include:


Saba S, Marek J, Alam MB, Adelstein E, Schwartzman D, Jain S, Gorcsan J. (2014) Influence of QRS Duration on Outcome of Death or Appropriate Defibrillator Therapy by Strategy of Left Ventricular Lead Placement in CRT Recipients. J Interv Card Electrophysiol. (in press)

Maytin M, Wilkoff BL, Brunner M, Cronin E, Love CJ, Grazia Bongiorni M, Segreti L, Carrillo RG, Garisto JD, Kutalek S, Subzposh F, Fischer A, Coffey JO, Gangireddy SR, Saba S, Mittal S, Arshad A, O'Keefe RM, Henrikson CA, Belott P, John RM, Epstein LM. (2014) Multicenter experience with extraction of the Riata/Riata ST ICD lead. Heart Rhythm. 11(9):1613-8. PMID: 24854215.

Shariff N, Rahim S, Jain S, Barrington W, Saba S. (2014) Long Term Outcome of Defibrillator Recipients Included in the Federal Audit Conducted by the Department of Justice. Am J Cardiol. 114(5):723-6. PMID: 25023911.

Saba S, Immaculada A, Soman P. (2014) (123)I-mIBG scintigraphy: Yet another risk stratifier for the heart failure toolbox!  J Nucl Cardiol. 21(5):909-12. PMID: 25063213.

Patel S, D'Auria S, Megan Trojan-Borden M, Saba S.(2014) You Gotta Brugada. Journal of Clinical & Invasive Cardiology. (in press)

Fowler NR, Johnson KG, Lie J, Moore CG, Saba S, Lopez OL, Barnato AE. (2014) Use of cardiac implantable electronic devices in older adults with cognitive impairment. JAMA. 174(9):1514-6. PMID: 25070460.

Patel D, Khan F, Shah H, Bhattacharya S,  Adelstein E, Saba S. (2014) Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Lead Extraction in Patients with Underlying Infection Using Open Thoracotomy or Percutaneous Techniques. Cardiol J. PMID: 24846514.

Adelstein E, Schwartzman D, Bazaz R, Jain S, Gorcsan J, Saba S. (2014) Outcomes in Pacemaker-Dependent Patients Upgraded from Conventional Pacemakers to Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy-Defibrillators. Heart Rhythm. 11(6):1008-14. PMID: 24657426.

Mendenhall GS, Saba S. (2014) Prophylactic lead extraction at implantable cardioverter defibrillator generator change. Circ Arrhythm Electrophysiol. 7(2):330-6. PMID: 24627563.

Mosalpuria K, Agarwal SK, Yaemsiri S, Pierre-Louis B, Saba S, Alvarez R, Russell SD. (2014) Outpatient management of heart failure in the United States: 2006-2008. Texas Heart Inst J. 41(3):253-61. PMID: 24955039. PMCID: PMC4060338.

Patel S, Lee J, Saba S. (2014) X marks the spot: Duchenne’s Cardiomyopathy. Am J Med. 127(7):e13-4. PMID: 24726503.

Adelstein E, Alam MB, Schwartzman D, Jain S, Marek J, Gorcsan J, Saba S. (2014) Effect of Echocardiography-Guided Left Ventricular Lead Placement for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy on Mortality and Risk of Defibrillator Therapy for Ventricular Arrhythmias in Patients with Heart Failure (From the Speckle Tracking Assisted Resynchronization Therapy for Electrode Region [STARTER] trial). Am J Cardiol. 113(9):1518-22. PMID: 24630387.

Sade LE, Saba S, Marek J, Onishi T, Schwartzman D, Adelstein E, Soman P, Gorcsan J. (2014) The Association of Left Ventricular Lead Position Related to Regional Scar by Speckle Tracking Echocardiography with Clinical Outcomes in Patients Receiving Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy. J Am Soc Echocardiogr. 27(6):648-56. PMID: 24637058.

Abu Daya H, Alam MB, Adelstein E, Schwartzman D, Jain S, Marek J, Gorcsan J, Saba S. (2014) Echocardiography-Guided Left Ventricular Lead Placement for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in Ischemic versus Non-Ischemic Cardiomyopathy Patients. Heart Rhythm. 11(4):614-9. PMID: 24462657.

Adelstein E, Schwartzman D, Jain SK, Bazaz R, Saba S. (2014) Effect of Digoxin on Shocks in Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy-Defibrillator Patients with Coronary Artery. Am J Cardiol. 113(6):970-5. PMID: 24440327.

Peretich KT, Liu JC, Saba S, Byrd H, Subramaniam K .(2013) A case of delayed cardiac tamponade: Highlighting the importance of transthoracic echocardiography training for anesthesiologists. J Periop Echo. 1:69-71.

Marek JJ, Saba S, Onishi T, Ryo K, Schwartzman D, Adelstein E, Gorcsan J. (2014) Usefulness of Echocardiographic Guided Left Ventricular Lead Placement for Cardiac Resynchronization Therapy in Patients with Narrower QRS width and Non-Left Bundle Branch Block Morphology. Am J Cardiol. 113(1):107-16. PMID: 24169014.

Liu J, Brumberg G, Rattan R, Patel D, Adelstein E, Jain S, Saba S. (2014) Longitudinal Follow Up of Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator Leads. Am J Cardiol. 113(1):103-6. PMID: 24176060.

Book Chapters:

Saba S, London B. Molecular basis of atrial fibrillation. In Schwartzman D, Zenati MA, ed. Innovative Management of Atrial Fibrillation. Blackwell Publishing, 2005:50-64.

Estes M, Saba S. Cardiac Arrhythmias and Electrophysiology: Diagnostic Techniques. (ACC EPSAP7; March 2009; Book4, pages: 16.2.1-16.2.22)

Saba S. Sudden Cardiac Death Risk Stratification and Assessment: Primary Prevention Based on Ejection Fraction Criteria. Heart Failure Clinics 2010;7:175-183.

Refaat M, Saba S. Total Subcutaneous Defibrillators: The Current Status and Future Prospect of a New Technology.  Cardiac Electrophysiology Clinics 2011;7:175-183.

Saba S. Supraventricular tachycardia discrimination in implantable defibrillators. Advances in arrhythmia technologies. (in press)

Liu J, Saba S, London B. Ventricular Rhythm Disorders and Selection of Patients for Implantable Cardiac Defibrillators. Pittsburgh Critical Care Series. Oxford University Press.

Saba S. To Extract or Retain a Sterile, Non-Functional Lead: The Case for Extraction. Difficult Decisions in Cardiac Electrophysiology. Cardiac Electrophysiology Clinics. 2015 (in press)