Diagnostic Testing & Imaging
What is electrophysiology testing?
Electrophysiology testing - also called electrophysiology mapping - is a minimally invasive technique that is used to look at the sources of electrical abnormalities in the heart. This type of testing is typically performed by an electrophysiologist (a cardiologist that specializes in the electrical activities of the heart) in an operating room.
How does electrophysiology testing work?
During electrophysiology testing, a small incision is made in the neck or the groin to pass small wires into the heart under the guidance of vascular imaging. Once inserted into the heart, these wires are used to record the activity of various electrical pathways of the heart. Electrophysiology testing is typically performed under local anesthesia and mild sedation.
To better understand your electrical abnormalities and how to best treat them, your electrophysiologist may pace your heart at different rates or induce abnormal rhythms. Induced heart rhythms may cause some discomfort, but patients should be aware that these tests are conducted in a controlled setting and are only temporary.
What is electrophysiology testing used for?
Electrophysiology testing is used to diagnose arrhythmias and plan treatment. Cardiac mapping technology allows an electrophysiologist to identify exactly what parts of the heart are responsible for an arrhythmia and correct them with targeted rhythm ablation or by implanting a pacemaker. Electrophysiology testing and rhythm ablation are sometimes performed in the same procedure depending on the findings.
 Lee, D., & Linker, N. J. (2014). Electrophysiology study in patients with tachycardia. British Journal of Cardiac Nursing, 9(1), 25–29.