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The Johns Hopkins Arrhythmia Service exists to provide patients with timely and accurate diagnoses and therapies. We do this by using advanced technologies and working as a team with you, your family and your physician to help you continue or return to your normal daily activities as soon as possible.
The Arrhythmia Service began in the early 1970’s with two goals:
As the first such service in Maryland, and one of the first in the United States, the Johns Hopkins Arrhythmia Service rapidly took on a leadership role. An early success was the development and use of the first implantable cardioverterdefibrillator (ICD). In 1980, Dr. Levi Watkins first implanted this device, invented by Drs. Michel Mirowski and Morton Mower, in a patient who had experienced numerous episodes of life-threatening arrhythmias. Since then, ICDs have saved hundreds of thousands of lives and are currently recognized as the most effective treatment to prevent sudden cardiac death.
Doctors on our Arrhythmia Service also focus their efforts on catheter ablation, a minimally invasive technique that can cure a number of arrhythmias. Other areas of major interest include; the causes and treatment of atrial fibrillation, the diagnosis and treatment of inheritable arrhythmias such as arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, the prevention and treatment of both common and rare problems that may cause sudden cardiac death, device therapy for monitoring and treatment of congestive heart failure, as well as further improving pacemaker and ICD therapy.
Our staff of physicians, nurses, and technologists is available to explain tests and procedures to you and your family, answer your questions, and guide you as you proceed through the diagnostic and treatment process. Some of your questions may be answered by the information we have assembled here for you. But don’t hesitate to ask questions: understanding your care is an important part of a complete recovery.
Electrophysiology is the study of electrical activity in the heart; how the heart beats. Our doctors are cardiologists who specialize in the electrical system of the heart.
Cardiac electrophysiologists (arrhythmia specialists) rely on a patient’s medical history and the results of a variety of procedures to diagnose heart rhythm abnormalities. Once the electrical disorder is diagnosed, the arrhythmia specialist works with your doctor to determine the risk of the heart rhythm abnormality and recommend treatment. Together, you, your primary care doctor or general cardiologist, and the arrhythmia specialist decide on the most appropriate treatment for you.
To be evaluated for an abnormal heart rhythm, one of our physicians will first examine you at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center or Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, or at one of our community sites -- Green Spring Station, White Marsh, Odenton, Greater Baltimore Medical Center (GBMC) in Towson, or Columbia. If necessary, you may be asked to undergo one or more of the following tests:
Based on your diagnostic exam and test results, our physicians will work with you on a treatment plan which may include:
We are pleased to provide all of our patients with a Comprehensive Guide to Our Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Service . Please feel free to review this information prior to your appointment and don't hesitate to ask any questions or request additional information.