Cardiac Electrophysiology Diagnostic Services at Drexel Cardiology
When there is a problem with the heart's electrical system, it is unable to pump blood effectively throughout the body. Our doctors are experts in all aspects of arrhythmia or irregular heartbeat care and have access to the latest treatment tools and technology. The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation.
Symptoms of heart rhythm disorders may include:
- Palpitations, or the sensation that the heart is pounding too rapidly or irregularly
- Lightheadedness or fainting
- An abnormal heart rhythm detected by a doctor
- An incident requiring resuscitation by an emergency medical response team
To evaluate a patient's condition, members of Drexel Cardiology's electrophysiology arrhythmia team may use any of the following:
- A noninvasive monitor the patient wears to record each heartbeat for a day or up to a month
- An implantable monitor
- Basic or complex electrocardiograms, with or without an exercise stress test
- Invasive electrophysiological testing, in which catheters are inserted into the blood vessels and advanced to the heart, to record electrical impulses that cause heart rhythm problems from inside the heart
- A tilt table test, during which the patient stands supported for half an hour to evaluate the autonomic nervous system
Electrophysiology Test Preparation
Depending on the test method, patients may be advised to discontinue certain medications from one to five days before a procedure. Persons with diabetes should consult their doctor on how to adjust their medications. Patients should not eat or drink anything after midnight on the evening before the invasive EP test.
Using the information gathered during the patient's evaluation, Drexel Cardiology's electrophysiology arrhythmia team may recommend one of the following treatment approaches:
- Medication to control the heart rhythm
- Catheter ablation in an attempt to completely eliminate the heart rhythm disorder
- Implantation of a pacemaker or a defibrillator
At times, implanted pacemakers or defibrillators fail or become infected. Drexel Cardiology's electrophysiology arrhythmia team is expert in techniques for safely removing leads (implanted wires) from these devices through the blood vessels, without the need for open chest surgery. A multidisciplinary approach, including heart surgeons, infectious disease specialists, and our highly skilled heart rhythm specialists, has made Drexel Cardiology a leader in pacemaker and defibrillator lead extraction and management.
John M. Fontaine, M.D.
S. Luke Kusmirek, M.D.
Specialties: Cardiology and General Internal Medicine
Steven P. Kutalek, M.D.
Heath Saltzman, M.D.
The information on these pages is provided for general information only and should not be used for diagnosis or treatment, or as a substitute for consultation with a physician or health care professional. If you have specific questions or concerns about your health, you should consult your health care professional.