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An electrophysiology study, or EPS, for atrial fibrillation helps your doctor determine the exact pattern of electrical activity in your heart. During the EPS, catheters are placed in a vein and are connected to a monitor. An EPS for atrial fibrillation can do more than show the electrical activity of your heart. The results can also be used to determine a treatment plan.

EPS for Atrial Fibrillation: An Overview

One test that can allow your doctor to determine the exact pattern of electrical activity in your heart is called an electrophysiology study, or EPS. Having a more detailed picture of what is wrong with the electrical system of your heart may help your doctor determine the best atrial fibrillation treatment for you.

EPS for Atrial Fibrillation: The Details

With an EPS for atrial fibrillation, you are first given a sedative to help you relax and feel drowsy. EKG patches are then applied to your chest and back, and after your skin has been numbed, catheters are inserted into a blood vessel in your groin area. Then, using x-rays that allow the catheters to be seen inside your body, your doctor guides them up into your heart. The catheters are placed in several locations and are connected to a monitor so that the electrical activity of the heart can be recorded from the inside.
During EPS for atrial fibrillation, your doctor will also use these catheters to change the heart rate and see if it causes any irregular heart rhythms. You will most likely be asked to describe any symptoms that you feel during the test. Your doctor may have to give your heart a mild electric shock to restore the normal rhythm.

EPS for Atrial Fibrillation: The Results

EPS for atrial fibrillation may also be used to see how your heart reacts to certain medications that are injected during the study. The results of these tests should help your doctor determine the best treatment for your symptoms of atrial fibrillation.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
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