Electrophysiology (EP)

Cardiac electrophysiology focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm disorders, or arrhythmias.

The Electrophysiology (EP) Program at Allegheny Health Network (AHN) Cardiovascular Institute features sophisticated diagnostic equipment and the most up-to-date technology to pinpoint the cause of your arrhythmia. This critical information guides our team of heart rhythm specialists as they develop the most effective treatment plan for your unique heart problem.

Advanced diagnostic procedures

Our cardiology and heart rhythm specialists perform a variety of diagnostic procedures to evaluate your heart’s electrical system and pinpoint the cause of your symptoms.

These diagnostic tests include:

Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)

An ECG is a quick and painless test that measures the electrical activity of the heart using electrodes placed on the chest. This will show doctors whether the heart is beating normally.

Cardiac monitor

A cardiac monitor is a small, battery-operated device that is attached to your chest with an adhesive patch and worn continuously for 24 hours or longer. The monitor records the electrical activity of your heart during this time.

Implantable loop recorder

An implantable loop recorder is a small electronic device that is placed under the skin of your chest. The device continually records your heart’s electrical activity for up to three years. Your doctor uses special equipment to download information from the device to monitor your heart.

Tilt-table test

A tilt-table test is used to assist in finding the cause of unexplained problems, such as fainting, dizziness, or low blood pressure when standing. For this test, you will be safely secured to a table that moves you from a lying position to an upright position. Your heart rhythm and blood pressure will be monitored during the test.

Electrophysiology (EP) study

An electrophysiology study is used to evaluate your heart’s conduction system. During an EP study, your doctor uses long wires (catheters) to stimulate and record your heart’s electrical activity and pinpoint problem areas.

What to expect during an electrophysiology (EP) study procedure

Before an electrophysiology test, your doctor will insert an IV line into your hand or arm. Electrodes or monitors are placed on your chest to keep track of your heartbeat during the procedure. Before it begins, you’ll be given a sedative to help you relax.

During the procedure, catheters are inserted through the groin using IVs and placed in three or more areas on the heart. The catheters record and send electrical signals to your heart.

An EP study is performed without incision, stitches, or open-heart surgery. This procedure can take one to four hours, depending on which tests are performed. Most patients are able to return home on the same day as their procedure.

Advanced treatments

Our heart rhythm specialists perform leading-edge procedures that require a high level of training and expertise.

We offer a complete range of arrhythmia treatments, including medication management, ablations, and device implants. Learn more about these treatments and heart arrhythmia.

Our cardiac electrophysiologists also perform:

Conduction system pacing

Our doctors are among a select few in the region with the expertise to perform his bundle and left bundle area pacing for patients. During this procedure, your doctor positions pacemaker leads, or wires, directly into your heart’s normal conduction system, allowing for preservation of the heart’s normal electrical activation.

Lead extractions

Our team has specialized training and expertise in removing pacemaker and defibrillator leads, or wires, that malfunction or become infected. 

Electrophysiology program at AHN: Why choose us?

AHN offers highly specialized diagnostic cardiology procedures and advanced treatments in our sophisticated EP labs. Our specialists offer:

Depth of expertise

You receive care from some of the most experienced heart rhythm specialists, or electrophysiologists, in western Pennsylvania. Our team performs more than 6,000 EP procedures every year.

Care for a range of problems

We diagnose and treat all types of arrhythmias, from common to the complex. We’re experts at providing care to patients who haven’t had success with other treatments. When appropriate, you may choose to participate in clinical trials for new therapies or devices via the Cardiovascular Research Institute.

Zero-fluoroscopy ablation

We’re a national leader in using 3D mapping and ultrasound instead of traditional radiation (X-ray) to perform specialized procedures to treat various arrhythmias. This process minimizes your exposure to radiation during the procedure.

Partnerships with referring physicians

We work with your referring physician to ensure that you receive seamless care, from diagnosis to ongoing treatment and management. Our goal is to get you back to enjoying life.

Contact us

We have unrivaled experts and all the services you need for a healthier heart, right here in Pittsburgh. Our locations are convenient for patients in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and New York who are looking for the best electrophysiology care.

Call (412) 359-3457 to schedule an appointment or learn more about AHN cardiovascular services.