Bruce Wilkoff, MD


Bruce Wilkoff, MD

Appointed: 1986

Bruce Wilkoff, MD
Department: Cardiovascular Medicine
Location: Cleveland Clinic Main Campus
Mail Code J2-2
9500 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44195
Adults Only

Biographical Sketch

Bruce Wilkoff, MD, is the Director of Cardiac Pacing and Tachyarrhythmia Devices, Associate Section Head of the Pacing and Electrophysiology Section, Medical Information Officer of the Heart and Vascular Institute a staff cardiologist in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine, Section of Cardiac Pacemakers and Electrophysiology at Cleveland Clinic. He is Professor of Medicine at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.

Dr. Wilkoff has a special interest in the removal of pacemaker and implantable defibrillator leads, biventricular pacing for congestive heart failure and other arrhythmia device technologies. In addition, he specializes in treating cardiac arrhythmia, implanting defibrillators and the computerized analysis of cardiac pacemakers and electrophysiologic studies. He is board-certified in internal medicine and cardiovascular disease, and he has served since 1988 on the examination writing committee for Special Competency in Cardiac Pacing and Defibrillation.

Dr. Wilkoff did his undergraduate work at Northwestern University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in biomedical engineering. He received his medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine in Columbus. He completed his clinical training in internal medicine at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland, followed by a fellowship in cardiology from University Hospitals and a fellowship in research from the Ohio State University Hospital and School of Veterinary Medicine. He was appointed to the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in 1986 as a clinical associate and in 1987 as full staff in the Robert and Suzanne Tomsich Department of Cardiovascular Medicine and as Professor of Medicine in the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University in 2005.

Dr. Wilkoff is recognized as an international expert in the design of new technologies to improve the performance of pacemakers and defibrillators. He is involved in numerous clinical multi-center trials to study medical applications for pacemakers and defibrillators. He holds six U.S. patents including a special algorithm for defibrillator tachycardia detection and an efficient controller for pacemaker rate responsiveness.

He has authored or co-authored over 250 articles in scientific journals. He serves as a reviewer for many leading professional journals including American Heart Journal, American Journal of Cardiology, Circulation, and he serves also on the editorial board for Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology, Heart Rhythm, and the Journal of Interventional Electrophysiology. He is associate editor of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology.
He is co-editor of "Clinical Cardiac Pacing, Defibrillation and Resynchronization Therapy" (2007), which is the most comprehensive and authoritative text in the field of implantable cardiac rhythm devices which published the 4th edition during 2011. From 2004-2007, he co-authored the annual "Coding Guide for Heart Rhythm Procedures and Services" for the Heart Rhythm Society.

Dr. Wilkoff is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, Heart Rhythm Society and of the American Heart Association. He has held leadership positions on committees and councils in each of these organizations and currently serves as the President and member of the Board of Trustees and Executive committees of the Heart Rhythm Society.

In his leisure time, Dr. Wilkoff enjoys using his computer, listening to music, ballroom dancing and spending time with his wife, children and 2 grandchildren.

Professional Highlights

  • Editorial Board: Journal of Cardiovascular Electrophysiology; Journal of Interventional Electrophysiology. Associate Editor: Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology (PACE)
  • International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners (formerly NASPExAM), Examination Writing Committee, 1988-present
  • Heart Rhythm Society - National Committees: Board of Trustees, 2004-2007; Chairman Health Policy Committee Chairman, 2006-2008.
  • Co-Editor of the major Textbook on Implantable Electronic Device Therapy, currently in the 3rd Edition: Ellenbogen KA, Kay GN, Lau CP, Wilkoff BL. Clinical Cardiac Pacing, Defibrillation, and Resynchronization Therapy. 3rd ed. Philadelphia: Saunders Elsevier, 2007.

Education & Fellowships

Fellowship - The Ohio State University Hospitals
Cardiovascular Diseases
Columbus, OH USA
Fellowship - University Hospitals of Cleveland
Cleveland, OH USA
Residency - University Hospitals of Cleveland
Internal Medicine
Cleveland, OH USA
Medical School - The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health
Columbus, OH USA


  • Internal Medicine
  • Internal Medicine- Cardiovascular Disease

Specialty Interests

Abnormal Heart Rhythms, Bradyarrhythmias, Sudden Cardiac Death, Supraventricular Tachycardia, Ventricular Tachycardia, Biventricular Pacemaker, Lead Extraction, Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator, Pacemaker Implant, Cardiac Implantable Electronic Device Infection

Awards & Honors

  • Cleveland Magazine "Top Doc", 2004-Present
  • America's Top Doctors, 1998


Innovations & Patents

  • Awarded on February 3, 2004 -- Patent No. 6,687,544. System and method for determining safety alert conditions for implantable medical devices.
  • Awarded on December 4, 2001 -- Patent No. 6,327,501 B1. System and method for determining safety alert conditions for implantable medical devices.
  • Awarded on February 20, 2001 -- Patent No. 6,192,273. Non-programmable automated heart rhythm classifier.
  • Awarded on March 16, 1999 -- Patent No. 5,882,352. Automatic Adjustment of Detection Rate Threshold in an Implantable Antitachycardia Therapy Device.
  • Awarded on August 15, 1995 -- Patent No. 5,441,524. Energy Efficient Multiple Sensor Cardiac Pacemaker.



  • Fellow of the Heart Rhythm Society
  • Fellow of the American College of Cardiology
  • Fellow of the American Heart Association
  • Heart Failure Society of America
  • International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners 

Specialty in Diseases and Conditions

Industry Relationships

Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists may collaborate with the pharmaceutical or medical device industries to help develop medical breakthroughs or provide medical expertise or education. Cleveland Clinic strives to make scientific advances that will benefit patient care and support outside relationships that promise public benefit. In order for the discoveries of Cleveland Clinic physicians' and scientists' laboratories and investigations to benefit the public, these discoveries must be commercialized in partnership with industry. As experts in their fields, Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists are often sought after by industry to consult, provide expertise and education.

To assure professional and commercial integrity in such matters, Cleveland Clinic maintains a program that reviews these collaborations and, when appropriate, puts measures in place to minimize bias that may result from ties to industry. The Cleveland Clinic publicly discloses the names of companies when (i) its physicians/scientists receive $5,000 or more per year (or, in rare cases, equity or stock options) for speaking and consulting, (ii) its physicians/scientists serve as a fiduciary, (iii) its physicians/scientists receive or have the right to receive royalties or (iv) its physicians/ scientists hold any equity interest for the physician's/scientist's role as inventor, discoverer, developer, founder or consultant.* In publicly disclosing this information, the Cleveland Clinic tries to provide information as accurately as possible about its physicians' and scientists' connections with industry.

As of 4/28/2014, Dr. Wilkoff has reported the financial relationships with the companies listed below. In general, patients should feel free to contact their doctor about any of the relationships and how the relationships are overseen by the Cleveland Clinic. To learn more about the Cleveland Clinic's policies on collaborations with industry and innovation management, go to our Integrity in Innovation page.

Consulting and/or Speaking. Dr. Wilkoff received fees of $5,000 or more per year as a paid consultant, speaker or member of an advisory committee for the following companies:

  • Spectranetics Corp
  • St. Jude Medical, Inc.

Royalty Payments. Dr. Wilkoff receives or has the right to receive royalty payments for inventions or discoveries commercialized through the companies shown below:

  • Medtronic, Inc.

Public Health Service-Reportable Financial Conflicts of Interest. Cleveland Clinic scientists and physicians engage in basic, translational and clinical research activities, working to solve health problems, enhance patient care and improve quality of life for patients. Interactions with industry are essential to bringing the researchers’ discoveries to the public, but can present the potential for conflicts of interest related to their research activities. Click here to view a listing of instances where Cleveland Clinic has identified a Public Health Service (PHS)-Reportable Financial Conflict of Interest and has put measures in place to ensure that, to the extent possible, the design, conduct and reporting of the research is free from bias.

* Cleveland Clinic physicians and scientists subscribe to the guidance presented in the PhRMA Code on Interactions with Healthcare Professionals and the AdvaMed Code of Ethics on Interactions with Health Care Professionals. As such, gifts of substantial value are generally prohibited.

Languages Spoken

  • English
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