We often use electrophysiology (EP) studies to understand abnormal heart rhythms, or arrhythmias.
EP studies measure the electrical activity in your heart so we can determine the origin of the arrhythmia.
EP studies at Henry Ford Health: Why choose us?
Within the Henry Ford Heart & Vascular team, we perform more than 2,000 electrophysiology studies each year. Our doctors are some of southeast and south central Michigan’s top experts at pinpointing what causes arrhythmias.
With locations throughout the region, you can get an EP study often within the same week that you get in touch with us.
How does an EP study work?
An EP study involves a doctor guiding wires to your heart with the help of X-ray imaging. These wires, or electrodes, measure the heart’s electrical signals, part of our comprehensive and accurate diagnostic testing. We also use EP studies at the beginning of ablation therapy so we know exactly where to treat.
An EP study allows us to:
- Measure how fast electrical impulses are traveling within your heart
- Identify the location of arrhythmias inside your heart
- Attempt to re-create an abnormal rhythm so we can diagnose it
3D cardiac mapping
During an EP study, we use 3D imaging to create a real-time picture of the inside of your heart.
These images create a color map, which shows us the location of the arrhythmia and what treatment you may need.
What to expect
Here’s what to expect during an EP study:
- You lie down on a special table while we give you medicine to relax or sleep.
- You may notice a large X-ray camera above you.
- We use a thin needle to insert a short hollow tube (sheath) into your vein.
- We insert wires (electrodes) through the sheath.
- With X-ray guidance, your doctor directs the wires to various positions in your heart.
- We use the wires to stimulate your heart with small electrical impulses.
- You can go home the same day or the next day.