An electrophysiology (EP) study is an invasive test to assess the heart’s electrical pathways. It is used to identify causes of abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias) and to provide therapies (called an ablation) to fix abnormalities in the electrical system of the heart.
An EP study is performed in the cardiac catheterization lab in a hospital. In this safe and controlled setting, your doctor intentionally will try to reproduce the abnormal rhythm. Special catheters (thin, flexible tubes) are inserted into the vessels in the leg and neck. These catheters sense the small electrical currents within the heart. Special ablation catheters can heat or freeze the abnormal areas of heart tissue to alter the ability of these areas to create arrhythmias. If successful, many children will no longer need to take medications to control their abnormal heart rhythms after an ablation procedure. Typically, an EP study is performed as an outpatient procedure and children will be able to go home the same day as their procedure.