Conditions, Diagnostics and Treatments

Conditions

Diagnostics

Physicians use diagnostic testing to evaluate how blood flows through the heart's chambers and major blood vessels. Diagnostic procedures used at the Electrophysiology Section measure the electrical conduction of the heart, abnormal heartbeats, arrhythmia episodes, heart and blood pressure changes and electrical images of how your heart is working. These tests include:

Electrophysiology Studies

An electrophysiology study assesses the electrical conduction system of the heart and any abnormal heartbeats. The study can measure how fast the electrical signals in the heart travel and how well the electrical impulses are pacing your heart rhythm.

During the study, physicians may artificially cause an abnormal heart rhythm in patients to see how these respond, and how effectively these respond, to a particular drug. Physicians may also perform tests to see how a pacemaker is working, where a pacemaker should be installed, what caused the abnormal heart rhythm and whether or not more studies are needed.

At Cedars-Sinai's Electrophysiology Laboratory, specially trained doctors conduct these tests and can then use this information in planning the best treatment plan. Click here for instructions for preparing for cardiac catheterization, angiography and electrophysiology studies.

Electrocardiogram

Some of the things an electrocardiogram can tell your physician are your heart rate, how regularly your heart is beating as well as the size and position of your heart's chambers, any damage to your heart and the effects of any drugs or devices used to regulate your heart. An electrocardiogram can also show whether a coronary artery is blocked and where the block is located. Other types of conditions including high blood pressure, thyroid disease and some types of malnutrition may appear on an electrocardiogram. Click here for more information about electrocardiograms.

Holter/Event Monitor

A longer monitoring period may be necessary to properly record and diagnose arrthymia episodes. Your doctor may order a Holter or extended event monitor, a small, portable device worn continuously to record your arrthmia events during your daily activities. Patients may need to wear the monitor for as long as one month to properly diagnose the arrthymias.

Tilt-Table Studies

A tilt-table study is used to check for changes in heart rate and blood pressure when your body's position is changed. This test is most commonly done when a person has periods of losing consciousness or nearly fainting. Click here for information on preparing for a stress test.

Treatments