The electrophysiology (EP) test is a type of test performed to evaluate the electrical system or activity of the heart and is used to detect a person’s abnormal heartbeats or arrhythmias. It is also called invasive cardiac electrophysiology which involves a series of tests for examining the electrical activity of the heart. The electrical system of the heart provides impulses or signals that control the timing and functioning of the heartbeats.
Electrophysiology is the branch of medical physiology that studies the electrical properties of biological cells, tissues, and electrical activity of the heart. It includes measuring the electrical activity of the neurons and their potential activity. It also involves the large-scale recording of electrical signals generated in the nervous system.
Principle & mechanisms
Electrophysiology is the branch of medical physiology that is related to the flow of ions or ion current inside the biological cells and tissues and the electrical recording techniques measure this ion flow. The standard electrophysiology techniques involve the placing of electrodes into various preparations of biological tissue.
The main types of electrodes include:
During the EP study, the doctor inserts a small & thin wire electrode into a vein in the groin or neck region. He/she then the wire electrode goes via the vein to the heart. For this, a specialized X-ray “movie,” called fluoroscopy is used. This system measures the electrical activity via the blood vessels entering the heart.