An electrophysiology study, which evaluates the heart's electrical system, may be performed if your child has an abnormal heart rhythm (an arrhythmia), if there is a family history of sudden cardiac death or in children with previously diagnosed congenital heart disease who are at risk for an arrhythmia.
Arrhythmias result when the heart's electrical system functions abnormally or when there is an extra electrical connection or abnormal electrical focus in the heart. Symptoms of arrhythmia include palpitations, unexplained dizziness or fainting (syncope).
These studies are performed using cardiac catheterization and state-of-the-art equipment with computerized electrical stimulation and analysis systems. During an electrophysiology study, three to five special catheters are inserted into your child's veins and guided in the heart. The tips of each catheter have platinum electrodes that record electrical signals from inside your child's heart as well as pace the heart from different locations.