Professor William D. Toff

Professor of Cardiology

School/Department: Cardiovascular Sciences, Department of

Telephone: +44 (0)116 250 2500



William Toff is Professor of Cardiology at the University of Leicester with an honorary clinical appointment at the University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust. He is Postgraduate Tutor for Cardiovascular Sciences and Chair of the MD Board of Studies.

His clinical and research interests are in cardiac rhythm management, health technology assessment and clinical trials in cardiovascular medicine. He was the founding director of the Leicester Clinical Trials Unit and has led or contributed to many landmark trials in cardiovascular medicine.

He is a member of the national and international standards committees for implanted cardiac devices, has served as a clinical expert advisor for NICE and contributed to numerous health technology appraisals and systematic reviews.

He is the joint founder and director of Heartwize, a registered charity that provides resuscitation skills training in schools and in the wider community.

He has a long-standing interest in aviation medicine and cardiovascular health issues related to air travel.

He is a Fellow of The Royal College of Physicians, The American College of Cardiology, The American Heart Association, The European Society of Cardiology, The Heart Rhythm Society and The Higher Education Academy.


Professor Toff's research is focussed on clinical trials in Cardiovascular medicine. He has led or contributed to landmark trials of pacemaker mode selection, cardiac resynchronisation therapy, the use of implanted and external defibrillators and primary prevention of cardiovascular disease. These have been supported by a range of funders including the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), the Medical Research Council (MRC), the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). He is currently Chief Investigator for the United Kingdom Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation (UK TAVI) Trial, which is funded by the NIHR Health Technology Assessment Programme.


Haldar S, Khan HR, Boyalla V, Kralj-Hans I, Jones S, et al. Catheter ablation vs. thoracoscopic surgical ablation in long-standing persistent atrial fibrillation: CASA-AF randomized controlled trial. Eur Heart J. 2020; 41(47):4471-80.

Yusuf S, Lonn E, Pais P, Bosch J, López-Jaramillo P, et al.  Blood-Pressure and Cholesterol Lowering in Persons without Cardiovascular Disease. N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(21):2032-43.

Yusuf S, Bosch J, Dagenais G, Zhu J, Xavier D, et al. Cholesterol Lowering in Intermediate-Risk Persons without Cardiovascular Disease. N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(21):2021-31.

Lonn E, Bosch J, Pogue J, Avezum A, Chazova I, et al. Blood-Pressure Lowering in Intermediate-Risk Persons without Cardiovascular Disease. N Engl J Med. 2016; 374(21):2009-20.

Nielsen JC, Thomsen PE, Højberg S, Møller M, Vesterlund T, et al. A comparison of single-lead atrial pacing with dual-chamber pacing in sick sinus syndrome. Eur Heart J. 2011; 32(6):686-96.

Smith D, Toff W, Joy M, Dowdall N, Johnston R, et al. Fitness to fly for passengers with cardiovascular disease. Heart. 2010; 96 Suppl 2:ii1-16.

Bardy GH, Lee KL, Mark DB, Poole JE, Toff WD, et al. Home use of automated external defibrillators for sudden cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med. 2008; 358(17):1793-804.

Cleland JG, Freemantle N, Daubert JC, Toff WD, Leisch F, Tavazzi L. Long-term effect of cardiac resynchronisation in patients reporting mild symptoms of heart failure: a report from the CARE-HF study. Heart. 2008; 94(3):278-83.

Healey JS, Toff WD, Lamas GA, Andersen HR, Thorpe KE, et al. Cardiovascular outcomes with atrial-based pacing compared with ventricular pacing: meta-analysis of randomized trials, using individual patient data. Circulation. 2006; 114(1):11-7.

Toff WD, Jones CI, Ford I, Pearse RJ, Watson HG, et al. Effect of hypobaric hypoxia, simulating conditions during long-haul air travel, on coagulation, fibrinolysis, platelet function, and endothelial activation. JAMA. 2006; 295(19):2251-61.

Toff WD, Camm AJ, Skehan JD; UKPACE Trial Investigators. Single-chamber versus dual-chamber pacing for high-grade atrioventricular block. N Engl J Med. 2005; 353(2):145-55.


Cardiac Rhythm Management, Health Technology Assessment, Community Resuscitation 


Professor Toff is Postgraduate Tutor for MD students in Cardiovascular Sciences. He teaches aspects of cardiac rhythm management to undergraduates and postgraduates, and provides resuscitation skills training for healthcare professionals and the general public. 

Press and media

Cardiac Rhythm Management, Health Technology Assessment, Community Resuscitation
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