Patients who experience some type of abnormal heart rhythm may be referred for an Electrophysiology study. This test records the electrical activity and electrical pathways of the heart and is used to determine the cause and best treatment for the condition. During the study, your physician will safely reproduce your particular heart rhythm disturbance so the most appropriate treatment can be determined. Treatment might include medication or a procedure/device to normalize your heart rhythm. An EP study may also be used to monitor the success of treatment using certain implantable devices.
Atrial Fibrillation (AF) is the most common cardiac arrhythmia and is a risk factor for and cause of stroke. During AF, the atria contracts so rapidly and irregularly that the heart can’t beat effectively and blood is not pumped completely out of the atria. Blood that pools in the atria may clot, and if it moves to an artery in the brain, stroke can occur. People with AF may experience heart palpitations, tightness in the chest, shortness of breath, dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue, fainting and anxiousness. But it is possible for people with AF to have no symptoms or intermittent symptoms.
Patients at IRMC needing an EP study for AF or some other cardiac issue benefit from MediGuide Technology. This three dimensional (3-D) visualization system is the first and only technology that potentially reduces the duration of radiation exposure providing physicians with more precise navigation of catheters and other tools during complex EP procedures.
Similar to GPS technology that drivers use to determine the location of their vehicle on a map, the MediGuide Technology uses low power electromagnetic signals to locate a miniature sensor attached to the tip of the catheter. The precise location and orientation of the catheter is tracked inside the heart and its image is displayed on monitors in the EP lab for the physician to review.
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