Electrophysiology Study

(EPS)

Definition

Electrical signals in your heart make the heart muscles contract, pumping blood through your body. If the electrical signals are not flowing well through the heart, this can create serious problems.An electrophysiology study is a test where electrode wires are passed through a blood vessel and into your heart. This electrode can record or create electrical activity. This can help find any problems with the flow of electricity in your heart.
The Heart
Heartbeat: Anatomy of the Heart
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Reasons for Procedure

An electrophysiology study is performed to:
  • Find the cause of abnormally slow heart rhythms ( bradycardias )
  • Find the source of abnormally fast heart rhythms ( tachycardias )
  • Provoke and diagnose heart arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats) that occur infrequently
  • Reveal suspected arrhythmias
An electrophysiology study may also be used to assess:
  • Risk for sudden death
  • Symptoms of unknown cause
  • Response to anti-arrhythmic therapy
  • Need for a pacemaker
  • Need for an implantable cardioverter defibrillator
  • Need for cryoablation (destruction of some heart cells by freezing)

Possible Complications

Problems from the procedure are rare, but all procedures have some risk. Your doctor will review potential problems, like:
  • Excess bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blot clots
  • Injuries to blood vessels or the heart
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • Heart attack

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