Diagnostic Electrophysiological Study (EP Study, EPS)

A diagnostic electrophysiology (EP) study is a medical procedure used to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart and diagnose heart rhythm disorders, such as arrhythmias. It is performed by a cardiac electrophysiologist, a doctor who specializes in the electrical function of the heart.
Fig 45 cathlab
During an EP study, the patient is usually sedated and numbing medication is applied to the areas where catheters will be inserted (normally groin). The doctor then inserts thin, flexible catheters into the patient’s blood vessels and threads them up to the heart. The catheters have tiny electrodes on their tips, which can measure the electrical activity of the heart.
The doctor uses the catheters to stimulate the heart and record its response. They may also administer medication to induce or terminate arrhythmias in order to diagnose and evaluate the effectiveness of treatments.
Fig 46 cathlab
EP studies can be used to diagnose a wide range of heart rhythm disorders, including supraventricular tachycardia, ventricular tachycardia, syncope and more. The results of an EP study can help the doctor determine the best course of treatment for the patient. The diagnostic EP study is often performed as the first part of a therapeutic ablation procedure, but can be also done on its own just as a diagnostic procedure.
Fig 19 cathlab
Overall, an EP study is a safe and effective diagnostic tool for heart rhythm disorders, but it is an invasive procedure that carries a risk (although this risk is very small). It is considered one of the best ways to check the electrical wiring of the heart. Patients should talk to their electrophysiologist about the risks and benefits of an EP study and any alternatives that may be available.