What is Electrophysiology?

In January 2010, in an effort to expand Munroe Heart's award winning heart program and to meet the needs of the surrounding communities, Munroe Heart added a cardiac electrophysiology (EP) program, which focuses specifically on diagnosing and treating the abnormal electrical activities of the heart.

Munroe's state-of-the-art EP lab serves patients with complex cardiac rhythm disturbances (rapid heartbeat) including atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia ablations. In December 2009, Munroe Heart announced the addition of cardiac electrophysiologist Celso Acevedo, M.D. to its team. Dr. Acevedo joined Munroe Heart from Cardiology Associates of Fort Lauderdale.

Key facts about Electrophysiology

  • Electrophysiology is the fastest growing of all the cardiovascular disciplines.
  • Electrophysiologists are cardiologists who have additional education and training in the diagnosis and treatment of abnormal heart rhythms. Close collaboration between electrophysiologists and other doctors who treat patients with heart disease is important.
  • With about 16,000 cardiologists in the United States, these numbers result in 1 electrophysiologist:16 cardiologists.
  • When the number of electrophysiologists/1,000,000 population is calculated, the U.S. average was 3.79/1,000,000.
  • Twenty-one states had less than 8 electrophysiologists and 12 states had less than 2.2 electrophysiologists/1,000,000 population.
  • Major cities, such as Philadelphia and Washington, DC, had high electrophysiologist/population densities. For example, there are some 50 electrophysiologists in the metropolitan Philadelphia area. In contrast, some rural areas have a minimal number of electrophysiologists (e.g., at the time of the survey, there was only one electrophysiologist in Idaho).
  • Even in states that have electrophysiologist densities higher than the national average, patients may have to travel over 250 miles to the nearest electrophysiologist. For example, New Mexico has 3.93 electrophysiologists/1,000,000 population, however, all are located in Albuquerque.

When to See an Electrophysiologist

Electrophysiologists determine whether an individual is in a group that is at high risk for SCA or other cardiovascular diseases. Find out more about some of the procedures done in Munroe's EP labs and some of the technology used to do them: