Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia (PSVT) is a common cardiac arrhythmia that can cause palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, and anxiety. In the field of cardiology, Electrophysiology Study (EPS) and Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) have emerged as effective diagnostic and treatment modalities for PSVT. These procedures aim to identify the source of the abnormal electrical activity and eliminate it, restoring normal heart rhythm. In this blog post, we will delve into the world of EPS and RFA, exploring their functions, benefits, and their role in managing PSVT.

Understanding EPS:

Electrophysiology Study (EPS) is a diagnostic procedure used to evaluate the electrical conduction system of the heart. During an EPS, small, flexible wires called catheters are inserted into the heart through blood vessels, usually in the groin or neck. These catheters record the electrical signals in different areas of the heart, allowing cardiologists to assess the conduction pathways and identify any abnormal electrical activity that may be causing PSVT.

EPS helps to determine the specific location and mechanism of the arrhythmia, which is crucial for planning appropriate treatment strategies. It also provides valuable information about the overall health of the heart’s electrical system, aiding in the diagnosis of other arrhythmias or potential underlying conditions.

Understanding RFA:

Radiofrequency Ablation (RFA) is a therapeutic procedure often performed immediately after an EPS. RFA uses radiofrequency energy to target and eliminate the abnormal electrical pathways responsible for PSVT. Once the precise location of the abnormal pathway is identified during the EPS, a special catheter with a tip is used to deliver controlled heat energy to the targeted area.

The heat energy creates a small scar or lesion, interrupting the abnormal electrical pathway and restoring normal heart rhythm. The scar tissue formed by RFA acts as a barrier, preventing the abnormal electrical signals from traveling and causing PSVT episodes.

Benefits of EPS/RFA for PSVT:

  1. Accurate Diagnosis: EPS provides crucial information about the type and mechanism of PSVT, allowing cardiologists to tailor the treatment approach accordingly. Accurate diagnosis helps ensure that the most appropriate treatment is selected, improving patient outcomes.
  2. Targeted Treatment: RFA offers a targeted treatment approach by precisely eliminating the abnormal electrical pathway causing PSVT. By creating small scars, RFA disrupts the abnormal conduction, reducing or eliminating the occurrence of PSVT episodes. The targeted nature of RFA minimizes the impact on normal heart tissue, preserving overall cardiac function.
  3. High Success Rates: EPS/RFA has shown high success rates in treating PSVT. In many cases, patients experience long-term resolution of symptoms and a significant reduction in PSVT episodes following the procedure. RFA is considered a highly effective and durable treatment option for PSVT.
  4. Minimally Invasive Procedure: EPS/RFA is a minimally invasive procedure performed under local anesthesia. It involves small incisions for catheter insertion, resulting in shorter hospital stays, faster recovery times, and minimal scarring for patients.

Considerations and Limitations:

While EPS/RFA for PSVT offers significant benefits, there are some considerations to keep in mind:

  1. Procedural Risks: As with any medical procedure, EPS/RFA carries certain risks, including bleeding, infection, damage to blood vessels or heart structures, and rare complications such as stroke or heart attack. However, these risks are generally low and are carefully managed by experienced cardiologists.
  2. Recurrence: In some cases, PSVT may recur after EPS/RFA. The success of the procedure depends on the specific characteristics of the individual’s PSVT and the ability to accurately identify and ablate the abnormal pathway. In such instances, repeat procedures or alternative treatment options may be considered.


EPS/RFA is a valuable diagnostic and therapeutic approach for managing PSVT, a common cardiac arrhythmia. EPS helps cardiologists identify the specific location and mechanism of PSVT, providing essential information for treatment planning. RFA, performed during or after EPS, selectively eliminates the abnormal electrical pathways, restoring normal heart rhythm. This targeted treatment approach offers high success rates and a minimally invasive procedure for patients with PSVT. If you experience symptoms of PSVT, consult with a cardiologist to explore the possibility of EPS/RFA as a potential treatment option based on individual circumstances and needs.