Electrophysiology Laboratory and Clinic

Electrophysiology Laboratory and Clinic

Cardiac electrophysiology (EP) is the study of the heart's electrical system. An EP study involves the insertion of catheters into the patient to check the rhythm or pulsing system of the heart. Results from an EP study will tell the physician if the patient requires further testing, implantation of a pacemaker or defibrillator; medication or an ablation.

A relatively new EP procedure offers a permanent cure for atrial fibrillation, the most common type of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat, and a serious risk for stroke. Also, new hope for some heart failure patients is available with cardiac resynchronization therapy and implantation of a new type of pacemaker/defibrillator.

St. Mary Medical Center EP Lab and clinic are staffed with dedicated full- time registered nurses, radiology technicians, cardiology and data technicians as well as full- time anesthesia services for ultimate patient care.

EP Lab Procedures available at St. Mary Medical Center

  • Diagnostic Electrophysiology studies
  • Catheter Ablations with 3D mapping capabilities as well as Thermocool and radiofrequency ablation therapy
  • Pacemaker implants
  • Cardiac resynchronization therapy for chronic congestive heart failure (Biventricular pacer/defibrillator implants)
  • Cardiac defibrillator implants
  • Loop recorder implants
  • Remote monitoring of both pacemakers and defibrillators
  • Tilt Table Testing
  • Event Recorders
  • Specific Medication Therapies
  • Microvolt T Wave Alternans Testing
  • Cardioversions
  • Non-Invasive Programmed Studies for defibrillator patients (NIPS)

Current Cardiovascular Clinical Trials and Research Studies

The EP Lab participates in numerous clinical investigations that deal with the electrical system of the heart. Many of the studies research new devices such as defibrillators and leads that will be utilized in the future to treat life-threatening arrhythmias. Other studies involve the use of new technology in new ways to treat congestive heart failure. Patients interested in these studies should contact their cardiologist for a referral to the EP Lab.

Two studies actively enrolling patients are the MADIT-CRT study and the Optimize RV Study

Optimize RV study - for patients who require pacemaker implantation. The wires that go to the heart (the leads) from the pacemaker are placed in different positions in the heart. Patients will be followed for 24-months to see how their condition progresses and a comparison between the two positions will be made. It is hoped that this research will give an answer in the future as to the best location for pacing lead placement.

MADIT-CRT study - involves the implantation of a regular defibrillator or a biventricular defibrillator in patients with New York Heart Association Stage I or II heart failure. Patients will be compared to see if the progression of heart failure can be stopped if devices are placed in patients earlier than the current standard of care.