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Electrophysiology (EP) studies help physicians diagnose the causes of arrhythmias or fainting. These studies allow them to pinpoint the location and type of heart rhythm disturbance by showing how electrical impulses move through the heart.
Natural electrical impulses coordinate contractions of the different parts of the heart. This helps keep blood flowing the way it should. This movement of the heart creates the heartbeat, or heart rhythm.
During an EP study, small, thin wire electrodes are inserted through a vein in the groin (or neck, in some cases). The wire electrodes are threaded into the heart, using a special type of X-ray, called fluoroscopy. Once in the heart, electrical signals are measured. Electrical signals are sent through the catheter to stimulate the heart tissue to try to initiate the abnormal heart rhythm disturbances for evaluation.
During the EP study, doctors may also map the spread of the heart’s electrical impulses during each beat. This may be done to help locate the source of an abnormal heartbeat. If a location is found, the tissue can be destroyed.
The results of the EP study may also help the doctor decide whether more treatment is needed and which treatment would be best. You may need a pacemaker or implantable defibrillator, adding or changing medications, doing more ablation procedures, or providing other treatments.
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To learn more about EP studies or request an appointment, please call 1-866-95-PULSE (1-866-957-8573) or request an appointment online.