Johns Hopkins Electrophysiology and Arrhythmia Service
Why Choose Johns Hopkins for Arrhythmia Treatment?
The Johns Hopkins Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology Service provides a patient-centered approach to treating abnormal heart rhythms. Learn what makes our program unique:
Our multidisciplinary team specializes in a broad range of conditions and treatments.
We specialize in providing compassionate care for people of all age groups and their families.
After we perform diagnostic testing, our team will create a personalized treatment plan for better effectiveness.
Our clinic has made significant discoveries in treatment for arrhythmia and diagnostic testing.
Patient InformationWhat Are Arrhythmias?
Arrhythmia is when there is an abnormal heart beat. An arrhythmia can occur if a heart beats too slowly (bradycardia) or if it beats too quickly (tachycardia). Complications from arrhythmias can range from minor to serious.
Learn more about the symptoms and different types of arrhythmias.
Treating ArrhythmiasLearn More About Electrophysiology
Electrophysiology is the study of electrical activity in the heart (how the heart beats). Cardiac electrophysiologists rely on a patient’s medical history and the results of diagnostic procedures to detect heart arrhythmias. Once diagnosed, our specialists work with your doctor to determine the risk posed by the heart rhythm abnormality and recommend treatment.
If an abnormal heart rhythm is suspected, your doctor may recommend one or more tests to diagnose the arrhythmia and determine if it is causing your symptoms. These tests may include:
Innovative CareArrhythmia Treatment
Treatment for arrhythmia depends on the type and severity of the electrical heart beat. Arrhythmias can be treated with medicine, minimally invasive procedures, electric shock treatment or implantable devices.
Our Treatment Programs
The Center for Arrhythmia and Electrophysiology offers specialized treatment programs for certain arrhythmias which include:
Our device clinics provide long-term maintenance and monitoring of implantable cardiac devices including pacemakers, defibrillators, biventricular pacemaker-defibrillators and implantable monitors.
Routine maintenance is crucial for detecting possible future complications.
Pacemakers routinely require computer programmer checks every three to six months. Defibrillators are normally checked every three or four months. Implantable monitors are often checked every three months or as symptoms dictate. If concerns arise over a device’s performance or a new clinical development occurs (such as syncope or ICD shocks), an appointment is expedited.
We offer reliable and secure web-based “remote analysis” from
a patient’s home or workplace, even from out of state, to reduce frequent in-person check-ups.
Cardioversion is a common procedure to shock the heart back into rhythm. Most patients who undergo a cardioversion procedure have either atrial fibrillation or atrial flutter.
You should avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before the study except for your normal medications, unless otherwise directed by your healthcare provider.
Most patients who undergo this procedure are placed on a blood thinner, such as coumadin, for at least four weeks before and following cardioversion. In some situations, your doctor may recommend that you have a special type of echocardiogram, called a transesophageal echocardiogram, immediately before your cardioversion to be certain there are no blood clots in your heart.
Once at the EP lab, a nurse will place an IV in your hand or arm so you can receive fluids and medications. During the procedure, you will lie on a padded table. You will have a blood pressure cuff on your arm, a clip on your finger to make sure you are getting enough oxygen, and ECG electrodes and two large patches on the chest. The electrodes and patches monitor the heart rhythm and, once you are fully asleep, deliver a safe, controlled shock to the chest to restore normal rhythm. During recovery, your nurse will record your blood pressure and monitor your heart rhythm regularly.
Although pacemakers and ICD pulse generators need to be replaced every four to 10 years, the leads (wires) that connect the device to the heart usually remain in place forever. Under rare circumstances, these leads will have to be removed to prevent infection.
Lead extraction procedures are all performed in our new state-of-the-art hybrid operating room with cardiac surgical backup.
Our center provides a specialized program for treating Ventricular Tachycardia with catheter ablation. Specialists use computerized mapping techniques combined with CT or MRI imaging to Catheter ablation involves using computerized mapping to identify the site of origin of the VT or premature ventricular contractions (PVCs). Once identified, ablation energy is applied to treat this arrhythmia. For some types of VT we have to apply ablation energy to the outside of the heart using an epicardial approach.
The ARVD/C Program
The Johns Hopkins Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia (Cardiomyopathy) Program provides education, treatment and long-term care for patients.
Center for Inherited Heart Disease
The Center for Inherited Heart Disease helps manage genetic cardiac diseases through preventive care and advanced treatment.
Secret (and Not So Secret) Signs of Arrhythmia
A Woman's Journey presents this talk on the signs of arrhythmia featuring Dr. Hugh Calkins. He is an internationally recognized expert on catheter ablation, atrial fibrillation, syncope, arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia (ARVD) and arrhythmia management.
Locations for Care
Johns Hopkins Hospital
Sheikh Zayed Tower
1800 Orleans Street
Baltimore, Maryland 21287
Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center
4940 Eastern Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21224
Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center at Green Spring Station
10755 Falls Road
Lutherville, MD 21093
Johns Hopkins Health Care & Surgery Center at White Marsh
4924 Campbell Boulevard
Baltimore, MD 21236
Johns Hopkins Health Care Center at Odenton
1132 Annapolis Road
Odenton, MD 21113
Johns Hopkins Howard County Medical Center
5755 Cedar Lane
Columbia, MD 21044
8600 Old Georgetown Rd
Bethesda, Md. 20814
Sibley Memorial Hospital
5255 Loughboro Road, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20016
Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center
601 N. Caroline Street, 7th Floor
Baltimore, Maryland 21287
Charitable GivingHonoring an Enduring Friendship
Marvin Weiner, a patient of Hugh Calkins, M.D., recently honored his near 30-year relationship with Calkins with an extraordinary $7.5 million dollar gift to endow a cardiac arrhythmia center in the Division of Cardiology. The funding will help Calkins and his colleagues propel research forward in arrhythmias (irregular heart rhythms), including supporting a new generation of cardiac electrophysiology (EP) specialists.