Cardiac Electrophysiology at St. Jude and St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group

Electrophysiologic (EP) testing provokes known but infrequent arrhythmias. Using local anesthesia, temporary electrode catheters are positioned in the heart’s atria and/or ventricles and at strategic locations along the conduction system. Our St. Joseph and St. Jude Heritage Medical Group experts record cardiac electrical signals and “map” the spread of electrical impulses during each heartbeat. This shows where the heart blocks it. Most significantly, it also triggers latent tachycardia or bradycardia. Induced tachycardias can usually be stopped by rapid pacing via the electrode catheters. Being able to "turn on" and "turn off" tachycardias during electrophysiologic studies allows antiarrhythmic drugs to be tested quickly for effectiveness. This can be done during a single study using intravenous therapy or during short follow-up studies with oral medication. Electrophysiologic testing has been performed safely worldwide; complications only rarely occur.

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