What's it for?
Cardiac mapping is an electrophysiology study, or EP study for short, and is used to find out what is causing a heart rhythm problem like an arrhythmia.
Mapping the electrical activity of the heart is a critical component for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease.
Many advanced therapies (such as ablation for the treatment of arrhythmias) require detailed mapping.
How it's done
EP studies are done in the electrophysiology (EP) labs at Lee Health. An electrophysiologist, a cardiologist with special expertise in the heart's electrical systems, will perform your study. You are given a medication to help you relax and a local anesthetic. A small incision is made in your thigh or in your neck. One or more thin, flexible tubes called catheters are then inserted into the incision and carefully guided through your blood vessels and to your heart.
The ends of these catheters have tiny electrodes. The electrodes allow the electrophysiologist to gather data about the electrical signals that are flowing through your heart, helping to pinpoint the cause of your heart rhythm problem.
The electrodes can also provide tiny electrical impulses to your heart. The pulses can be used to safely "turn on" an arrhythmia and to identify the problem area.
Your doctor can then test various medications or electrical impulses to see if they are able to "turn off" the arrhythmia, helping to determine the best treatment for you.
In some cases, a procedure called an ablation will also be performed. Ablations can often cure an arrhythmia by painlessly inactivating a small region of abnormal tissue inside the heart.
An EP study typically takes about two hours and does not require general anesthesia. Many patients stay awake during the study and sometimes ask questions, while other patients fall asleep.
Technology and expertise at Lee Health
The EP Lab at Lee Health performs hundreds of cases every year.
Who to contact
For questions related to cardiovascular care or services, email us at Hearts@leememorial.org