Electrophysiology Study (EPS)
Why is the doctor performing this test?
To locate the source of an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia), to determine its cause, and to determine the best way to treat the arrhythmia.
What is the test?
The heart’s rhythm (or “beat cycle” or “contraction cycle”) is controlled by a natural pacemaker called the sino-atrial node (SA node). The SA node, located in the right atrium, creates an electrical impulse that travels first through the right and left atria, and then to the right and left ventricles, causing the heart to beat. Sometimes, abnormal electrical impulses occur in the heart, causing an abnormal rhythm called an arrhythmia. Arrhythmias can be too slow (bradycardias), too fast (tachycardias), or irregular. During the electrophysiology study, catheters are inserted into blood vessels in in various locations, and advanced to the heart. Through these wires, electrical impulses are both delivered to and received from the heart assessing both normal and abnormal conditions. An attempt is made to duplicate the patient’s clinical arrhythmia by pacing the heart from different locations and at different rates. Once an arrhythmia has been initiated it is assessed and analyzed to determine its origin and pathway of conduction. Once determined, a decision is made on best cause of treatment, which may include medications, ablation with radiofrequency, or even device treatment where a pacemaker or an implantable cardiac defibrillator (ICD) may be implanted. At the end of the procedure the catheters are removed and pressure is placed on the puncture site to prevent bleeding.
Where is the test performed?
In the Electrophysiology Lab (EP Lab).
How long does this test take?
An electrophysiologic study usually takes 1-4 hours.
- Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Repair
- Bypass Surgery
- Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA)
- Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery (CABG)
- Transmyocardial Revascularization (TMR)
- Valve Repair Surgery
- Valve Replacement Surgery
- Angiojet Thrombectomy
- Automatic Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (AICD or ICD)
- Coil Embolization
- Computed Axial Tomography (CAT or CT)/Ultrafact Computed Tomography (CT) Scan
- Coronary Balloon Angioplasty & Stenting
- Coronary Catheterization
- Dobutamine Stress Echo
- Echocardiography (ECHO)
- Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)
- Electrophysiology Study (EPS)
- Event Recorder
- Holter Monitoring
- Inferior Vena Cava (IVC) Umbrella Placement
- Intraaortic Balloon Pump
- Intracardiac Ultrasound (ICE)
- Intravascular Ultrasound (ICE)
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)/ Magnetic Resonance Angiography (MRA)
- Medicated Stents
- Nuclear Stress Tests
- Percutaneous Transluminal Angioplasty (PTA)
- Percutaneous Transluminal Coronary Angioplasty (PTCA)
- Peripheral Stents
- Peripheral Vascular Angiography
- Radiation Brachytherapy
- Septal Closures
- Signal Averaged Electrocardiogram (SAECG)
- Stress Echocardiogram
- Stress Test
- Thrombolytic Treatment
- Tilt Table
- Transesophageal Echocardiogram (TEE)