Just as an angiogram looks at the blood flow or “plumbing” side of your heart, the EP study looks at the conductivity or “electrical” side of your heart.
Catheters are used to map the electrical pathways of the heart to find out what is causing your heart rhythm problem.
Most of the mapping can be done on the right or venous side of the heart so catheters are introduced via the femoral vein. The preparation and access of the femoral vein is the same as for an angiogram (see coronary angiogram).
Sophisticated stimulation devices and recording equipment are used to find the problem and if suitable the “bad” pathway can be ablated or “burned” to restore the “good" pathway.
Sometimes this procedure can take a long time as mapping the pathways can be very time intensive. Occasionally the specific pathway relating to your rhythm problem cannot be reproduced. If this happens you will need to discuss with your doctor the possibilities of further investigation or treatment.