What is Electrophysiology?

Electrophysiology is the cardiology specialty that diagnoses and treats heart arrhythmias, or problems related to the heart’s electrical system.

The human heart has three main components:

1. The Pump - main muscular mass of the heart

2. The Plumbing - all the arteries through which the blood flows

3. The Electrical System - generates and regulates the heart rhythm

The heart has a normal flow of electrical impulses from one part of the heart to another. These impulses cause the heart to contract and relax, which pumps blood to the body and vital organs.

Electrical impulses in the heart are generated by two main “pacemakers” and conducted by certain electrical “cables” or pathways. Abnormal electrical impulses cause the heart to beat too slowly, too fast, or irregularly. These electrical heart rhythm abnormalities are called arrhythmias.

An arrhythmia is any deviation from or disturbance of the heart's normal rhythm. Arrhythmias may be harmless or serious and even life threatening. The consequence of an arrhythmia depends primarily on the structural condition of the heart and the presence of heart disease.

At Emory, cardiology specialists called electrophysiologists use the most advanced technology to detect, diagnose and treat arrhythmias. Today, many arrhythmias can be completely cured through a minimally invasive procedure called cardiac ablation. Others are treated and controlled by medication, implanted heart devices and/or surgical procedures.

Learn more about Emory's Electrophysiology Service.

For more information about Emory’s Arrhythmia Programs or Electrophysiology at The Emory Heart & Vascular Center, call Emory HealthConnection at 404-778-7777.

Atrial Fibrillation