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Electrophysiology Study
What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

What is Electrophysiology Study?

Electrical signals in your heart make the heart muscles contract, which pumps blood to 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
The Heart
© 2009 Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

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 heart beats) that occur infrequently
  • Reveal suspected arrhythmias
  • Evaluate a person’s risk for sudden death
  • Assess symptoms of unknown cause, including:
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness/fainting ( syncope )
  • Assess your:
  • 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

If you are planning to have an electrophysiology study, your doctor will review a list of possible complications, which may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Blot clot formation
  • 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.

Call Your Doctor

After arriving home, contact your doctor if any of the following occurs:

  • 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...