Electrophysiology Study (EP test or EP study) is a minimally invasive procedure which tests the electrical conduction system of the heart to assess the electrical activity and conduction pathways of the heart. The study is indicated to investigate the cause, location of origin, and best treatment for various abnormal heart rhythms. This type of study is performed by an electro physiologist and using a single or multiple catheters situated within the heart through a vein or artery.
The study involves placing wire electrodes in the heart. These electrodes measure electrical activity in the heart and its muscle cells. The procedure is done in a hospital laboratory by trained staff that includes a cardiologist, technicians, and nurses. The electrodes detect the heart’s electrical activity and are used to check the heart’s electrical system.
Electrical signals 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.
Why is the EPS Performed?
Your doctor may order this test if you have signs of an abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia). Information from this study helps your doctor learn how severe the arrhythmia is, and the best treatment for it. Before this test is done, your cardiologist may have recommended that you have other tests.
An Electrophysiology study may be done to:
- Test the function of your heart’s electrical system
- Pinpoint a known abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmia) that is starting in the heart, and help decide the best therapy for it
- Determine whether you are at risk for future heart events, especially sudden cardiac death
- See if medicine is controlling an abnormal heart rhythm
- See whether you need a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter-defibrillator (ICD)
Some of the hospitals regularly doing Electrophysiology studies (EP Study / EP Test / EPS) are –