Electrophysiology (EP) Study

When diagnostic testing such as ekg, holter monitoring, or event recorders are non-conclusive in detecting rhythm problems your child is experiencing, an Electrophysiology Study (EP Study) may be performed. An EP Study is a procedure performed in the hospital in order to properly evaluate the heart’s electrical system from the inside.

The study begins with a catheter, or flexible wire, being inserted into specific veins in the upper leg. The catheter is long enough to be guided through these veins until it reaches the inside of the heart. The special catheter used can sense and stimulate the heart’s electrical signals from the inside, and can be guided to specific areas of the heart where rhythm disturbances are most likely to originate. These abnormal sites in the heart are referred to as abnormal electrical pathways, which could be the cause of your child’s abnormal rhythm disturbances. Once these abnormal pathways are found, a Radio Frequency Ablation is usually performed, unless the physician performing the procedure feels otherwise.

Radio Frequency Ablation

Radio Frequency Ablation is a non-surgical procedure that destroys abnormal pathways in the heart. A different type of catheter, an ablation catheter, is inserted into the same place that the EP catheters were placed. The ablation catheter is able to carry the proper amount of energy through it in order to destroy these pathways. Once the energy properly heats up the tip of the ablation catheter, it can be applied to the problem area and will destroy the heart tissue that surrounds the abnormal pathway.

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