As a part of our high-quality cardiac health care, we offer our patients a cardiac electrophysiology program. Electrophysiology is the science of the heart’s electrical currents, from the heart muscle and tissue, through each muscle contraction. Potential patients may suffer from heart issues like arrhythmia or severe heart disease. Through electrophysiology studies (EPS), our specialists can test the electrical activity of the patient’s heart to find where an arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat) is coming from.

Heart conditions diagnosed using the electrophysiology program:

  • Atrial fibrillation (Afib or AF) – Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) that can lead to blood clots, stroke, heart failure and other heart-related complications
  • Pacemaker or defibrillator malfunction
  • Sick sinus syndrome – Group of related heart conditions that can affect how the heart beats
  • Supraventricular tachycardia – Abnormally fast heartbeat
  • Ventricular tachycardia – Rapid heartbeat that starts in the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles)
  • Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome - condition in which there is an extra electrical pathway in the heart that leads to periods of rapid heart rate

More Reasons for Electrophysiology Studies

An EPS can be conducted for many reasons beyond just diagnosing a specific condition. If you are known to have a heart condition already, a study may be conducted to determine the best course of treatment or review your response to certain medications. EPS also are often used as a method to check the heart before placing a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator.

About the EPS Procedure

During EPS, a minimally invasive diagnostic procedure that lasts between 1 and 4 hours, doctors insert a thin tube called a catheter into a blood vessel that leads to your heart. A specialized electrode catheter, designed for EPS, allows the doctor to send electrical signals to your heart and record its electrical activity. This is called cardiac mapping and allows the doctor to locate where arrhythmias are coming from.

Treating Your Electrophysiological Heart Condition

After diagnosis, your doctor will decide on recommended treatment options which may include anti-arrhythmic or blood thinner medications or a surgical approach that is minimally invasive. Treatment options at Hilton Head Regional Healthcare include the following:

  • Ablation for supraventricular tachycardia and Wolf-Parkinson-White syndrome
  • Atrioventricular (AV) node ablation
  • Defibrillator and biventricular defibrillator implantation
  • Pacemaker implantation


American Heart Association

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