Electrophysiological Testing of the Heart

What is the test?

If you have an arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm), cardiologists can use an electrophysiologic study (EPS) to find out what part of the heart is causing this change in rhythm and what medicines will work best to bring that rhythm back to normal. Sometimes doctors will recommend a treatment called ablation that can be done during EPS testing. Ablation uses electricity to kill the cells in the heart muscle that seem to cause the abnormal rhythm.

How do I prepare for the test?

You will need to sign a consent form giving your doctor permission to perform this test. Tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to lidocaine or the numbing medicine used at the dentist's office. Also tell your doctor if you have ever had an allergic reaction to any heart medicines.

Talk with your doctor ahead of time if you are taking insulin, or if you take aspirin, nonsteroidal antiinflammatory drugs, or other medicines that affect blood clotting. It may be necessary to stop or adjust the dose of these medicines before your test. Most people need to have a blood test done some time before the procedure to make sure they are not at high risk for bleeding complications.

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