Mapping vs EP study

Posted by elwood @elwood, Dec 14, 2019

Are they one & the same? From what have read, both seek to measure electric pathways & identify source of bad signals for ablation.
Have also read an EP study may be done separate from an Ablation and can take 1 -4 hours. Also read mapping is always done as part of Ablation procedure. Is mapping same as EP study? Maybe someone can clairfy for me – confused on terms and why a EP study would be done separate from an Ablation? ELwood

I ll ask my daughter, Cardiology Chief, Brooke Army Medical Center. Stay tuned.

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Thanks Mary. Your Daughter is a great resource..look fwd to her thoughts on mapping vs EP study.

How was Dr. Deshmakh's English – accent ? you very pleased with him. With my hearing deficit heavy accents can sometimes be a problem.

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3 parts:
Mapping, stim study, and the ablation.

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Yes can have a mapping study and no ablation. Because they found nothing to ablate. Cannot have an ablation without mapping.

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@elwood

Thanks Mary. Your Daughter is a great resource..look fwd to her thoughts on mapping vs EP study.

How was Dr. Deshmakh's English – accent ? you very pleased with him. With my hearing deficit heavy accents can sometimes be a problem.

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Dr Deshmakh has excellent English.

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@maryrohrer1

Yes can have a mapping study and no ablation. Because they found nothing to ablate. Cannot have an ablation without mapping.

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The STIM study measures the electrical activity of the heart

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Yes, mapping is what is done during an EP study. You can have an EP study and nothing that is ablatable may be found. Not every palpitation or arrhythmia is ablatable although many are. In addition, a source of an arrhythmia may be found to be too close to the heart's natural pacemaker to ablate safely and, especially if the arrhythmia benign if annoying, may not be something worth medical risk. In addition, although it rarely happens, they electrophysiologist may not be able to provoke an arrhythmia during an EP study in order to map it for an ablation. Having said all of this, EP studies are extraordinarily safe and so are most ablations. The technology has progressed by proverbial leaps and bounds.

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@slynnb

Yes, mapping is what is done during an EP study. You can have an EP study and nothing that is ablatable may be found. Not every palpitation or arrhythmia is ablatable although many are. In addition, a source of an arrhythmia may be found to be too close to the heart's natural pacemaker to ablate safely and, especially if the arrhythmia benign if annoying, may not be something worth medical risk. In addition, although it rarely happens, they electrophysiologist may not be able to provoke an arrhythmia during an EP study in order to map it for an ablation. Having said all of this, EP studies are extraordinarily safe and so are most ablations. The technology has progressed by proverbial leaps and bounds.

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Thank you for this detailed answer, @slynnb. Have you had this procedure done yourself? If so, please share, as you are comfortable doing so, how it has helped you.

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I was wide awake and alert for two of my EP studies and one ablation. I think of the study and the mapping as one in the same, but perhaps that’s not technically true. In my case during the study the doctor introduced rapid extra beats to try to initiate an atrythmia. The doctor was able to put me in v fib, and then shocked me with 200 j just when I felt was was about to pass out. I had not been hit that hard since my days of football. In this instance the doctor was not able to determine a pathway giving rise to my arrythimia. In a second instance the doctor found an area and ablated. This removed a bothersome palpitation i suffered with for most of my adult life. It felt like ‘heartburn’ as the ablation was being performed, but in this case it actually was. It was quite fascinating to watch the many screens and follow the progress as the ablation was being performed – but it was a bit unnerving as I worried about things that could go wrong. The Branch of medicine continues to evolve rapidly. The mapping tools, the ablation techniques, even the meds used to keep we awake but unconcerned during such a procedure are amazing. What I would offer is my opinion that ablation is part art part science. Some doctors specialize in certain complex cases, or in certain types of procedures.

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