Heart rhythm abnormalities can be of two types-Tachycardia and bradycardia.Tachycardia or abnormal increase in heart rate can be physiological or pathological. This pathological increase can be easily identified from a surface ECG by an Electro physiologist. It is caused due to short circuits in the heart. The medical treatment of such tachycardias are often difficult and may be lifelong. More so, many tachycardia recur on medications. Electro physiological study involves the identification of such short circuits using special pacing techniques. After identifying the circuit and its location, it can be disconnected by using radio frequency waves, which is referred to as Radio frequency ablation. This method has been time tested and we are re-introducing this novel technique in KIMS. This technique offers the advantage that the patient can be off long term medications and the side effects of these medications. Moe over, in patients involved in certain kinds of jobs like that of pilot, Drivers, army personnel etc may be disqualified from their position due to such lethal arrhythmias. Electro physiological study and ablation can be of great help in such a situation.
In the bradycardia sector electro physiology contributes immensely by the implantaion of pacemakers. The more advanced devices like impantable cardioverter defibrillatior (ICD ), has saved several lives by an appropriate shock. Such shocks can be life saving in patients with palpitations and syncope (unexplained loss of conciousness), with lethal arrhythmias.
In patients with refractory heart failure also electo physiology has an edge over drugs.Cardiac re-synchronisation therapy (CRT) is yet another ray of hope in the horizon of patients with refractory heart failure. This procedure involves pacing the three chambers of the heart and “re -synchronising” the heart, thereby reducing the symptoms of heart failure.