Electrophysiological study (EP study)

An Electrophysiological study (EP study) is associated with cardiac catheterisation (putting a tube through a blood vessel & passing it into the heart) & is used in categorising, managing and identifying cardiac arrhythmias. To cure heart rhythm disturbances, a thin electrode wire is inserted from the groin area or in some cases from the neck to thread electrodes into the heart through a type of x ray called fluroscopy.

Once in the heart, electrical signals are sent to evaluate the abnormal disturbances in the heart. The signals respond to a database where the information is collected and converted into a digital form via some algorithms that are ultimately displayed on screen for viewing. During each beat the spread of electrical pulses is mapped to know the region affected by the disease. The study also helps a doctor to check for further treatment like therapeutic measures such as changing or adding medications, adding pacemaker implants or CT scan.

Information from Private Cardiologist Dr Gill


Wired electrodes are placed inside the heart which measure electrical activity in the area. The procedure is done in a hospital where a staff that comprises of your consultant cardiologist, technicians and nurses operates the patient.

  • The area through in which they are to be inserted is cleaned well before use and a general anaesthesia is applied to make it bacteria free so as to avoid any type of infection during surgery.
  • Several sheets will be placed in the beck area by the cardiologist out of which one of the IV can also be passed into the body through sheets.
  • The technique of x ray is used to guide the electrodes at right place. The electrodes pick up heart’s electrical signals.
  • The electrodes make the heart to skip some beats or to produce abnormal heart pumping to understand the problem much better.
  • This will make the doctor to understand the cause behind abnormal vibrations or to know the starting point of vibrations.
  • Other procedures include pacemaker placement into the heart.
  • To destroy small areas in the heart that maybe causing the vibrations to happen.

Abnormal Results

Some results might not turn in the favour of the patient after the surgery due to abnormal rhythms of the heart that may be too slow or excessively fast. These may include heart block, ventricular fibrillation, white syndrome, flutter, abnormal heart vibrations that may start from the upper chamber of heart etc. The person in charge must find the type of heart rhythm problem and the location in which it is happening.

Risks Involved

The procedure is usually very safe but possible risks may include bleeding, blood clots, infection, vein injury, stroke, low blood pressure, cardiac arrest, arrhythmias etc. Other happenings might include perforation of heart, bleeding, stimulation on the spots of vibrations, vessel damage.

People who are pregnant aren’t advised to go for ET. If someone is allergic to latex or any medication, doctor should be told beforehand to avoid any mishaps. Also, if one is suffering from any other disease consulting the surgeon before surgery becomes a must.