Intracardiac Electrophysiology Study (EPS)
EPS is a test performed by cardiologist to understand the abnormal behavior of heart’s rhythms (arrhythmia or dysrthythmia) and to verify if the electrical signals of the heart is performing well. This test also allows the doctor to determine what other defects heart posses and what measures to be taken to fix it.
The test is performed with wire electrodes positioned in the heart to measure the heart’s electrical activity. The test is done in hospital laboratory by an experienced cardiologist along with nurses and technicians. At the start, the patient’s neck or groin will be cleaned and anesthetic is applied on the skin. The doctor will then place numerous sheaths into the neck, from which electrodes will be passed through these sheaths into the body.
The cardiologist uses X-ray images to lead the catheter into the heart and position the wires in the exact places. These wires pick up the electrical signals of the heart and helps the heart to skin certain beats and rectify the abnormal rhythm. This also assists the doctor to understand what exactly is causing these abnormalities.
Certain medicines may also be prescribed for the same purpose. Other than that, few processes that may be done during the EPS include placing of heart pacemaker and filling the areas in the heart that is causing the unusual heart rhythm.
Preparing for the test
There are certain measures advised by doctors that you will need to take. For instance, you are supposed to not eat or drink 6-8 hours prior to the test.
If you are on any prescription, your doctor may tell if you need to make any alterations. Don’t make any changes on your own.
The test may last over an hour, therefore, you will be given medication to help you feel calm and relaxed before the test. You are not supposed to appear for EPS alone as you will not be in a condition to drive back home.
During the test, you may feel some irregularities when the sheaths are placed and the catheter is inserted. You may also feel your heart skipping beats or even race more than the usual, so try not to panic.
Why you need EPS?
As mentioned above, this test is performed to fix the abnormal behavior of heart rhythm, hence doctor may suggest you for EPS if you have signs of arrhythmia. Other reasons include
- Verify the functionality of electrical signals of the heart
- Position the abnormality in heartbeat
- Determining what therapy needs to be performed to fix the issue
- Finding out if you have any future fatal heart risks
- Check if the prescriptions are performing well
- See if you require an ICD or pacemaker
The entire process is quite risk free, however, certain threats may include:
Arrhythmia or dysrhythmia
Strokes or blood clots
Fatal heart issues