Electrophysiology Studies (EPS)

Intracardiac electrophysiology study (EPS) is a test to look at how well the heart's electrical signals are working. It is used to check for abnormal heartbeats or heart rhythms.

How the Test is Performed

Wire electrodes are placed in the heart to do this test. These electrodes measure electrical activity in the heart.

The procedure is done in a hospital laboratory. The staff will include a cardiologist, technicians, and nurses.

To have this study:

  • Your groin and/or neck area will be cleaned and numbing medicine (anesthetic) will be applied to the skin.
  • The cardiologist will then place several IVs (called sheaths) into the groin or neck area. Once these IVs are in place, wires or electrodes can be passed through the sheaths into your body.
  • The doctor uses moving x-ray images to guide the catheter into the heart and place the electrodes in the right places.
  • The electrodes pick up the heart's electrical signals.
  • Electrical signals from the electrodes may be used to make the heart skip beats or produce an abnormal heart rhythm. This can help the doctor understand more about what is causing the abnormal heart rhythm or where in the heart it is starting.
  • You may also be given medicines that may also be used for the same purpose.

Other procedures that may also be done during the test:

  • Placement of a heart pacemaker
  • Procedure to destroy small areas in your heart that may be causing your heart rhythm problems (called catheter ablation)
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