You may have been diagnosed with a heart rhythm abnormality due to various symptoms. A Cardiologist may undertake a Diagnostic Electrophysiology Study to establish the cause of those symptoms.
Dr David Begley is a Consultant Cardiologist in the UK who specialises in cardiac rhythm management. This is the investigation and treatment of heart rhythm abnormalities or arrhythmias.
Symptoms you could have experienced include palpitations, feeling dizzy, fainting or being short of breath. A combination and the recurrence of these may be symptoms of heart rhythm problems.
Undertaking an Assessment
A thorough assessment is needed to establish the cause of your heart rhythm problem and allow for an appropriate management plan.
How you describe your symptoms will often help narrow down the possibilities. However, correlation of your symptoms with an electrocardiogram (ECG) recording is essential to an accurate diagnosis. If you already have an ECG during symptoms, please bring a copy with you to your initial consultation.
A resting ECG can often provide a clue to the diagnosis even when recorded in the absence of any symptoms. Patients with a normal resting ECG are unlikely to have a dangerous rhythm abnormality. The likelihood of this is even less if the heart is normal. A simple ultrasound scan of the heart (echocardiogram) can detect many structural abnormalities.
Continuous or intermittent ambulatory ECG monitoring can help capture symptoms that are intermittent. If that is unsuccessful, insertion of an implantable loop recorder under the skin can help with symptoms that only occur occasionally. If symptom-rhythm correlation still remains elusive a diagnostic electrophysiology study can be performed.
What is a Diagnostic Electrophysiology Study?
This invasive test is performed in a catheter laboratory at the hospital. This is a facility similar to an operating room. You are required to lie flat throughout the study so fine wires can be inserted into the heart. This takes place with x-ray guidance through the vein at the top of your leg.
These wires are used to record the signals from within your heart. In addition, they can be used to stimulate the heart in order to diagnose the problem. This should not be painful but you may experience symptoms similar to your usual palpitations.
If you have experienced symptoms such as blackouts, dizziness, palpitations or feeling short of breath it is advisable to seek help from a medical professional. You can also find more information about the symptoms of heart rhythm abnormalities on our website.
Dr Begley can also provide treatment for heart rhythm abnormalities. Options will range from management with medicines, catheter ablation or insertion of a cardiovascular implantable electronic device such as a pacemaker or cardioverter-defibrillator.
Contact Dr Begley
To make an appointment to discuss the Diagnostic Electrophysiology Study, please contact us. Dr David Begley’s Personal Assistant, Lynn Thomas can be reached via Phone on 01223 850 423 or email.