Electrophysiology Study

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.

  • Call Your Doctor

    Call your doctor if any of the following occur:

    • Signs of infection, including fever and chills
    • Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the insertion site
    • Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
    • Your leg feels cold, turns white or blue, or becomes numb or tingly
    • Lightheadedness or weakness

    If you think you have an emergency, call for medical help right away.

  • 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
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

  • What to Expect

  • 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

    A person’s risk level is very individual. It may relate to the specific arrhythmia suspected and any underlying medical conditions.