What is electrophysiology?

An (EP) electrophysiology is a comprehensive study of the electrical activities of an individual’s heart. During this study, the healthcare adviser will utilize cardiac catheters and a computer to make (EKG) electrocardiogram tracing and electrical measurements inside an individual’s heart. During the study, the healthcare adviser may securely reproduce an individual’s irregular heart rhythm; after this, he may prescribe suitable medicine to better monitor an individual’s heart rhythm. 
The healthcare advisor will utilize the (EP) electrophysiology study for the following reasons:

  • After the EP study, the healthcare advisor would be able to determine where in the heart of an individual the abnormal heart rhythm begins. 
  • The EP would help determine the cause behind the abnormal heart rhythm known as dysrhythmia and arrhythmia. 
  • To determine which type of medication would be best for an individual’s abnormal heart rhythm. 

Why is it necessary to conduct an (EP) electrophysiology?

The healthcare advisor would suggest an individual for an (EP) electrophysiology when other examinations such as the EKG, Holter monitor, stress test, event recorder, angiogram, or echo cannot give good content to evaluate an individual’s irregular heart rhythm thoroughly. However, if an individual is diagnosed with abnormal heart rhythm, gets fainted, has a higher risk of cardiac attacks, or if an individual needs cardiac ablation where heat or cold energy is used to correct the heart rhythm issues. The healthcare advisor can suggest an individual for (EP) electrophysiology in such conditions, but it is always conducted before cardiac ablation to detect abnormal heart rhythm. 

What are the possible risks of (EP) electrophysiology? 

An (EP) electrophysiology is typically a very secure procedure. But, there are risks, as with any invasive procedure. Special safety measures are taken to decrease these risks. The process of (EP) electrophysiology is performed in an electrophysiology laboratory under controlled clinical situations. The process is carried out by cardiologists and nurses who specialize in electrophysiology. 
The consultant’s team utilizes several detectors to monitor the patient’s blood pressure and heart rhythm throughout the procedure. The following are the scanners that are used during the process:

  • (EKG) Electrocardiogram: In this simple test, many sticky electrode patches are placed on the individual’s chest. It gives the picture of the electrical impulses traveling throughout the process.
  • Fluoroscopy: In this procedure, an X-ray machine helps the healthcare advisor view the catheters on an X-ray screen.
  • Blood pressure monitor: To measure the blood pressure of an individual. This monitor is joined to a blood pressure cuff on the patient’s arm. 
  • Pacemaker/ defibrillator/ cardioverter: This process is used when the heartbeat is irregular or fast. The doctor controls these irregular heartbeats by using the pacemaker device. This device has flexible wires that control the heartbeat by delivering electrical pulses.
  • Oximeter monitor: A tiny clip placed on the patient’s finger monitors the individual’s oxygen level in the blood. 

How to prepare for the test?

 An individual is advised not to drink or eat after midnight on the electrophysiology study day. It is vital to inform the health care advisor if the individual is on any medication before the test.

What to expect before the (EP) electrophysiology study?

The (EP) electrophysiology is conducted in the hospital. In the test, an (IV) intravenous line is placed in the arm or hand. The electrodes are inserted into an individual’s chest to check the heartbeat during the examination. Moreover, before the process begins, the patient will typically receive a sedative by the intravenous line (IV) to relax the patient. Usually, anesthesia is used to keep the patients in a sleeping state during the process.

What to expect during the (EP) electrophysiology study?

During the process, the long, thin catheters are inserted in three or more areas of the heart, and the healthcare provider may shave the hair from the site where the tubes will be placed, typically in the groin, and then numbs the area. The consultant will inject a tube similar to a massive IV into the patient’s blood vessels. The catheters are directed by the sheaths up to the heart, with the help of moving X-rays images as a guide. Furthermore, the sensors on the tips of the catheter send electrical signals to the heart and record the electrical activity of the heart. According to the patient’s condition, the healthcare provider can conduct the following readings:

  • Make a baseline reading of the heart’s electrical activity.
  • Take measurements of the signals that cause the heart to beat slower and faster. 
  • Provide the patient medicine to note the medicine’s effect on the patient’s heartbeat.
  • Make cardiac mapping to determine the best location to apply cardiac ablation to treat abnormal heartbeat.
  • Carry out cardiac ablation.

The (EP) electrophysiology will take one to four hours. However, the duration can depend upon the individual’s condition. If an individual also has a cardiac ablation, it may last longer. The process of (EP) electrophysiology does not hurt the patient, but it may cause the patient to feel uncomfortable because of an abnormal heartbeat. 

What to expect after the (EP) electrophysiology study?

After the (EP) electrophysiology test, the patient will be shifted to the recovery room to relax for four to six hours; during this resting period, the healthcare provider will measure the patient’s blood pressure and heartbeat to highlight the complications. 

The results of the (EP) electrophysiology.

The (EP) electrophysiology results will be shared with the patient after examinations, generally at a follow-up appointment. According to the results, the healthcare advisor may also make suitable recommendations for the treatment.


  • https://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/electrophysiology-test retrieved on 27- August 2022
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ep-study/about/pac-20384999 retrieved on 27- August 2022
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/16955-electrophysiology-study retrieved on 27- August 2022

https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/electrophysiology-procedure#:~:text=An%20electrophysiology%20(EP)%20study%20is,vessels%20that%20enter%20the%20heart. Retrieved on 27- August 2022