What is an Electrophysiology Study
An electrophysiology study (EPS) is a test that provides valuable information regarding your heart’s health. Using a specialized electrode catheter, your doctor can determine the most effective treatment plan for any cardiac conditions.
Your doctor may suggest an EPS for these reasons:
- To evaluate symptoms that might be caused by a heart rhythm problem.
- To gain information related to abnormal heart rhythms.
- To find the source of a heart rhythm problem with the intent to do ablation to correct the rhythm problem once the cause is identified.
- To see how well medicine(s) being given to treat a rhythm problem is working.
What happens during an Electrophysiology Study?
During EPS, electrodes (small, plastic patches that adhere to the skin) are placed on the body in standardized locations to record what we typically think about ECG recordings and catheters containing smaller electrodes are placed directly in the heart chambers to record electrical signals directly from different locations in the heart. The electrodes are then connected to a recording system that displays and records all of these electrical signals simultaneously. Your doctor will numb the point-of-entry of the internal catheters with a local anesthetic. This is generally on the neck or the groin. The catheter is inserted into a blood vessel that leads to your heart. A specialized electrode catheter designed for EPS allows the catheter to send electrical signals to your heart and record its electrical activity.
What are the risks of an Electrophysiology Study?
Though the risks associated with having an EPS are rare, patients may experience arrhythmias, blood clots, or infection at the catheter insertion site.