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Electrophysiology (Arrhythmia)


An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of your child’s heartbeat. To understand arrhythmias, it’s helpful to know that your child has a natural electrical system in their heart that’s responsible for controlling their heartbeat. When there is a problem with this system, a specially trained doctor known as an electrophysiologist can help.

When your child has a dangerous heart rhythm, you want help right away. With advanced imaging equipment and a large electrophysiology team, Children’s Health℠ specializes in quickly and accurately diagnosing arrhythmias. We usually can see new patients the same day and start treatments in very little time when necessary.

What to Expect

An important part of your child’s treatment is accurately pinpointing the source of your child’s arrhythmia. Arrhythmias can be hard to diagnose, especially the ones that only cause symptoms every once in a while. The electrophysiology program at Children’s Health has years of experience and performs thousands of screening tests every year.

We accurately diagnose and treat arrhythmias with the help of special technology:

  • We are the only hospital in Texas using advanced imaging technology to create three-dimensional views of heart structures and electrical signals at the same time.
  • This technology allows faster and more thorough imaging while also minimizing your child’s radiation exposure, keeping them safe from potential side effects.

Conditions We Treat

  • Bradycardia: a heartbeat that is slower than normal
  • Tachycardia: a heartbeat that is faster than normal
  • Irregular heartbeat: constantly changes in speed and pattern
  • Palpitations: feeling like your child’s heart is fluttering or has skipped a beat
  • Fainting (syncope): a short loss of consciousness that can come from a decrease in heart rate and can also including fainting while exercising
  • Cardiac arrest: a very rapid rhythm that causes a child to collapse
  • Post-operative arrhythmia: an irregular heartbeat that starts right after surgery
  • Genetic disorders: arrhythmias caused by genetic disorders such as Wolff-Parkinson-White Syndrome

Expert Care

  • Specialized team: Having all the specialists your child needs in one place helps our team work together and leads to better care. Teams of experts meet on a regular basis to discuss each patient’s care so we can develop a plan that is best for your child’s condition.
  • 24/7 EP and arrhythmia care: Electrophysiologists and other specialists are available around the clock, providing emergency care to children with dangerous arrhythmias. If your child receives an implantable device, you can relax knowing that highly trained arrhythmia nurses are also available around the clock to answer your questions.
  • Advanced technology: We care for children after cardiothoracic surgery, which is when dangerous new arrhythmias can start. Special technology allows our team to view your child’s heart activity from anywhere in the hospital so we can provide immediate help when needed.
  • Preventive care: Our technicians train specialists throughout Children’s on how to detect the early warning signs of an abnormal heart rhythm. This helps your child get the specialized care he or she may need as quickly as possible.
  • Reputation: As a referral center, children come to us from outside Texas as well as other countries because of our experience in successfully treating even rare forms of arrhythmia.


  • Medications: some children’s hearts are able to return to a normal rhythm with the help of special medications called antiarrhythmics. Your child’s doctor may also recommend other heart medications as well.
  • Radiofrequency ablation: this non-surgical procedure offers permanent treatment by using heat to burn the heart tissue responsible for the irregular electrical patterns in your child’s heart.
  • Cryoablation: this non-surgical procedure uses special gas to safely and gradually freeze the heart tissue responsible for your child’s arrhythmia.
  • Pacemaker: a battery operated device that is implanted to regulate slow heartbeats
  • Defibrillator: a battery operated device that is implanted to be ready to stop dangerous fast heartbeats
  • Surgery (Maze procedure): doctors make small cuts or burn tissue in the upper chambers of your child’s heart to disrupt the electrical signals causing your child’s arrhythmia.