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The Physical Lab | Tools of the Trade
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Bradycardia | Atrial Tach | Atrial Flutter | Atrial Fibrillation | AVNRT | AVRT | Ventricular Tachycardia
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Tools of the Trade - Cardiac Stimulators

Cardiac Stimulators

          One of the most important pieces of equipment found in the EP lab is the stimulator. The majority of tests performed in an EP study are done using the this device. Without it, electrophysiology would never have developed as a branch of cardiac medicine.

          The stimulator is a temporary pacemaker that has been beefed up a notch or two. Most models available today have up to four pacing channels, each which can be independently programmed with specific parameters to stimulate the heart from various locations. The location is determined by which catheter the stimulator is programmed to send a signal to. Using a direct interface with the monitoring system, the positive and negative poles are assigned to specific electrodes on the EP catheters inside the patient's heart. Through this interface, the stimulator can sense the patient's intrinsic rhythm and pace the patient's heart as needed.The older model stimulators are manually controlled devices where every adjustment is made by the physician or tech operating it. Many of the newer stimulators are computerized devices that allow you to preprogram algorithms that automatically adjust some of the pacing protocols. Instead of manually pacing at various intervals to determine the wenkebach cycle length, the computerized systems start at one pacing rate and automatically decrease the cycle length every few seconds. The operator monitors the patient's rhythm and documents where wenkebach occurs, stops pacing and switches to the next protocol.

          It is extremely important to become very familiar with whichever stimulator you are using. Events can happen very quickly and the outcome will often be influenced by the abilities of the person using the stimulator. You should be completely comfortable with all the functions of the stimulator before you use it in an actual procedure.

Cardiac Stimulators

ST Cardio Technologies - Providers of Windows based EP Stimulator. This device provides a computer based stimulator that runs on a Windows XP platform and also has an Analog Emmulation mode for those more familiar with the older analog stimulators.


The EP Lab would like to display images of various equipment used in EP Labs. If you have an image you would like to see in this section, please contact us by clicking on Submit Information .


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