How is an EP study performed?

At Palmetto Health Richland's Heart Hospital, EP studies are done in the EP Lab, which is part of the Catheterization Lab. The lab is equipped with the necessary monitoring devices, video display equipment and X-ray cameras. Once the patient is made comfortable, heart and blood pressure monitoring begin and an intravenous line is inserted. The area where the thin tube-like catheter will enter the body is locally anesthetized.


A long, thin tube-like catheter is inserted in an artery or vein in the arm, neck or groin. The catheter then is guided into the heart. Small pacemaker catheters then are inserted through the catheter. The physician sends electrical impulses through these catheters to check for problems with the heart's electrical system.


Once in place, the electrode catheter performs specific, essential measurements of the heart's electrical activity and pathways. The catheter records heart sounds to assess the presence of arrhythmias.