Since the 1980s, there have been dramatic advances in clinical electrophysiology procedures to diagnose and treat cardiac arrhythmias with catheter ablation. Electrophysiologic studies (EPS) generally refer to the catheterization procedure that provides diagnostic information. An EPS is often combined with catheter ablation to treat the identified arrhythmia.
Diagnostic EPS are performed to diagnose an arrhythmia when the diagnosis has not been obtained with noninvasive techniques or as part of an ablation procedure to treat the arrhythmia. EPS can be performed when an arrhythmia is suspected, but symptoms are intermittent and electrocardiographic (ECG) monitoring has not captured the symptomatic rhythm or there is concern that the arrhythmia may be life threatening, as in a patient with structural heart disease and syncope. Diagnostic EPS provides information about cardiac automaticity and conduction (sinus node, atrioventricular [AV] node, and His-Purkinje function) as well as inducible arrhythmias. Programmed electrical stimulation is performed to attempt to induce suspected or documented arrhythmias. EPS can help to detect arrhythmia causes of syncope and distinguish ventricular tachycardia (VT) from supraventricular tachycardia (SVC) with aberrancy (see Fig. 44–2C) and has a role in assessing the risk of ventricular arrhythmias in patients with known or suspected diseases associated with a risk of sudden death. Common uses of EPS are summarized in Table 44–1.
Table 44–1. Diagnostic Electrophysiologic Studies |Favorite Table|Download (.pdf)
Table 44–1. Diagnostic Electrophysiologic Studies
|Suspected or documented bradyarrhythmias|
|Sinus node function|
- Tests the response of the sinus node to atrial pacing.
- The most common is the sinus node recovery time.
- The interval between the last paced beat and next sinus beat.
- Normal <1.5 s.
- Uses: Although it is well standardized, sinus node function is markedly influenced by autonomic tone such that sensitivity is limited.
- Long-term ambulatory monitoring is likely more effective for diagnosing symptomatic sinus node disease that is not apparent on short-term monitoring.
|AV node function|
- The AH interval reflects the conduction time through the AV node (normal, 60-125 ms).
- During atrial pacing, the rate at which AV block (typically AV Wenckebach conduction) occurs is a marker of AV node function (normal >110-120 beats/min).
- As with the sinus node, autonomic tone influences AV node function.
- Long-term ambulatory monitoring is more effective for diagnosing symptomatic AV node disease that is not apparent on short-term ECG recordings.
|His-Purkinje system conduction|
- The HV interval is the conduction time from His bundle activation to earliest ventricular activation (normal, 35-55 ms).
- Severe prolongation (>100 ms) is often seen in patients with episodic AV block below the AV node, which usually occurs as a Mobitz II mechanism.
- Infranodal block may also occur during atrial pacing.
- A short HV interval is seen in ventricular preexcitation due to an accessory pathway.
|Suspected or documented tachycardias: inducible arrhythmias|
|Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardias|
- AV nodal reentry
- AV reentry using an accessory pathway
- Atrial tachycardia
- Atrial fibrillation (may be nonspecific)
- Atrial flutter (may be nonspecific)
- Sustained: Lasting >30 s or requiring ...
Log In to View More
If you don't have a subscription, please view our individual subscription options below to find out how you can gain access to this content.
Want remote access to your institution's subscription?
Sign in to your MyAccess profile while you are actively authenticated on this site via your institution (you will be able to verify this by looking at the top right corner of the screen - if you see your institution's name, you are authenticated). Once logged in to your MyAccess profile, you will be able to access your institution's subscription for 90 days from any location. You must be logged in while authenticated at least once every 90 days to maintain this remote access.
If your institution subscribes to this resource, and you don't have a MyAccess profile, please contact your library's reference desk for information on how to gain access to this resource from off-campus.
AccessCardiology Full Site: One-Year Subscription
Connect to the full suite of AccessCardiology content and resources including textbooks such as Hurst's the Heart and Cardiology Clinical Questions, a unique library of multimedia, including heart imaging, an integrated drug database, and more.
Pay Per View: Timed Access to all of AccessCardiology
24 Hour Subscription $34.95
48 Hour Subscription $54.95
Pop-up div Successfully Displayed
This div only appears when the trigger link is hovered over.
Otherwise it is hidden from view.