A single pass ventricular lead with a dual chamber electrode system, designed for VDD pacing, was implanted in 17 patients (11 men, 6 women, aged 53 to 86 years, mean 74) for symptomatic bradycardia due to second-or third-degree AV block and normal sinus node function. Bipolar atrial electrodes, diagonally displaced along the lead axis and positioned within the right atrial cavity, are used to detect atrial activity that is then differentially processed within the pacemaker. P wave amplitude (amp) derived from a PSA-DAA device at implant was 1.38 +/- 0.28 mV. P wave signal amp derived from telemetered atrial electrograms was 1.29 +/- 0.22 mV at predischarge (n = 17), 1.31 +/- 0.24 mV at 3 months (n = 15), 1.30 +/- 0.24 mV at 6 months (n = 8), 1.51 +/- 0.34 mV at 9 months (n = 4), and 1.35 +/- 0.35 mV at 12 months (n = 2); and the far-field QRS signal measured at predischarge was of negligible voltage (0.17 +/- 0.07 mV). The susceptibility of the atrial sensor system to interference was noted with chest wall stimulation and only at higher sensitivities (0.1 to 0.3 mV) and not with isometric arm exercise. Intact VDD pacing function at rest and during exercise was established using Holter and periodic ECG monitoring. Postoperative complications included one lead displacement and one pocket hematoma. Three patients died postimplant of causes unrelated to pacemaker function. Advantages of the single-lead VDD pacing include: (1) elimination of second atrial sensing lead; (2) superior atrial sensing performance; (3) effective resistance to myopotential and far-field signal interference; and (4) stability of postimplant atrial signal amplitude.