To detect irregular heart rhythms that can be fleeting, a patient wears a small phone-sized device (attached to their chest by five adhesive electrode patches) which records the heart rhythm for 24-48 hours.
This small, phone-sized recording device can detect and record arrhythmias with or without the patient experiencing any symptoms. It may be worn up to a month.
Tilt Table Test
This test helps evaluate blood pressure-related reasons for fainting (syncope). Heart rhythm and blood pressure are carefully monitored while a patient rests on a special table that tilts the patient upright at a 70-80 degree angle for 30-45 minutes. A fainting episode can indicate a person has vasovagal or neurocardiogenic fainting, which is not life-threatening.
Electrophysiology (EP) Study
An EP study involves inserting a catheter — a narrow, flexible tube — attached to electricity monitoring electrodes, into a blood vessel, often through a site in the groin or neck. The catheter wire is guided into the heart while the patient is sedated. An X-ray-like machine provides "live" images of the catheter and heart muscle. The catheter's electrodes gather data, and a variety of electrical measurements. During an EP study, an electrophysiologist may provoke arrhythmias and collect data about the events. This data helps the doctor assess the need for an implantable device (such as a pacemaker), predict the risk of future cardiac events, and evaluate the effectiveness of certain medications in controlling heart rhythm disorders. If a heart arrhythmia is amenable to treatment by ablation, that procedure is often performed at the time of the EP study.