Cardiac electrophysiology is a sub-specialty of cardiology which deals with the study of the heart’s electrical system. The term “electrophysiology study” or “EP study” applies to any procedure that requires the insertion of an electrode catheters into the heart to make electrical measurements. Electrode catheters are long, flexible wires that allow electrical measurements and stimulation of the heart muscle and its electrical system.
Electrophysiology studies may be done to diagnose electrical abnormalities (see Heart Rhythm Problems and Conditions), to access the heart for treatment or correction of certain conditions, such as Pacemaker Implantation, ICD Insertion, or Cardiac Ablation.
The heart electrical system causes the heart to beat and controls the heart rate (the number of beats per minute). It also has special pathways (conduction pathways) that carry the electrical signals throughout the lower heart chambers (ventricles) for each heartbeat. An irregularity in the heart’s electrical system is called an arrhythmia, or heart rhythm disorder. Rhythm disorders can cause the heart to beat too slowly (bradycardia) or too fast (tachyarrhythmia). Read more about the Heart Electrical System
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