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Electrical mapping of the heart is a procedure that is used to diagnose the origins of arrhythmias. This procedure uses an electrically sensitive catheter to map the electrical activity in the chambers of the heart.
An arrhythmia is a heartbeat that’s too fast, too slow or irregular (uneven). Arrhythmias are caused by problems with your heart’s electrical system. The electrical signals may fire too fast or too slowly, or in an uneven (irregular) way. Abnormal electrical signals can originate in different areas of the heart (such as the atria or ventricles) causing arrhythmias.
To begin an electrical mapping procedure, a thin tube called a catheter sheath is inserted into a small incision in the arm or upper thigh. This process is usually visualized using x-rays and a special dye that helps reveal the arteries (called angiography). This catheter is carefully guided through the blood vessels until it is inside the heart. A smaller electrically sensitive catheter is then inserted inside the sheath and into the heart. This catheter can be use to sense electrical activity and map it on a 3D model of the hearts chambers. The procedure illustrated shows the mapping of the of atrial fibrillation that originates in the left atria. The physician can use this mapping to perform procedures such as ablation and cryotherapy.
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