What is Cardiac Electrophysiology?
The heart has its electrical activities, which when interrupted leads to a series of major complications related to heart, brain, and other vital body parts. The science of studying, diagnosing, and treating those electrical activities is called cardiac electrophysiology. A catheter is introduced from leg to heart to monitor heart activity. The person who studies this activity is called a cardiac electrophysiologist.
The catheter sent in may include either radiofrequency ablation, cryoablation. Some other concurrent treatment includes antiarrhythmic drug therapy, pacemakers, and defibrillators.
There is a mapping specialist to assist cardiac physiologists.
The bigger question is who needs an Electrophysiologist?
- A person who experiences too fast or too slow heart rate
- A person diagnosed with atrial fibrillation
- A person suffering from sudden cardiac arrest
- A person suffering from the fluttering of the heart muscle
An electrophysiologist performs electrocardiograms, echocardiograms, and electrophysiology studies. After physical examination through a stethoscope, an electrophysiological study is recommended if abnormal heart sound is heard.
Derivatives of an electrophysiological study are:
- The source of the problem
- Medicines that will assist
- The need for catheter ablation
- Risk of any other cardiac problem like arrest
- If pacemaker or defibrillator any other surgery is needed
Sequence of events:
When a person feels their heart racing under abnormal circumstances which do not settle easy or on its own (also known as atrial fibrillation), they may consult a physician. He may refer the person to an electrophysiologist, who after an electrophysiological study and examining the underlying cause will provide proper management as we have already discussed. The electrophysiological study might also be accompanied by the required medications.