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What is an electrophysiology study?

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An electrophysiology study (EF study) is an invasive examination that is applied for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of an irregular heart rhythm.

During the EF study, the doctor (a subspecialist in the treatment of cardiac rhythm disorder – electrophysiologist) examines the electrical system of the heart using several special wires (electrode catheters) placed in the heart, through which an intracardiac electrocardiogram (electrogram) is recorded. These electrode catheters are inserted through inserts placed in the veins of the groin, arms, shoulder, or neck.

Once they are positioned in the heart, the electrode catheters are used for measurement of the electrical signals that the heart generates and conducts during its activity. In parallel, electric signals are sent to the heart through the same wires in order to reproduce the abnormal heart rhythm. With these basic techniques, a number of cardiac rhythm disorders are examined, and they are also used for assessment of the efficiency of drug treatment in some arrhythmias.