Electrophysiology patients may have heart rhythm disturbances with otherwise normal hearts, arrhythmias related to complex congenital or acquired heart disease, and/or post-operative arrhythmias. Treatment of arrhythmias can include use of medications, transcatheter or intra-operative ablation procedures, or placement of a pacemaker or automatic internal cardiac defibrillator (AICD). Electrophysiology services at Rady Children’s Hospital/UCSD are complete and include all available therapies as well as diagnostic testing and follow-up, exercise stress-testing, Holter and transtelephonic ECG event monitoring. Our electrophysiology staff oversees or consults on the medical management of all patients with complicated or difficult to control heart rhythm disturbances, including those in adults with congenital heart disease.

Electrophysiologic Catheterization/Transcatheter Ablation

These procedures are highly specialized diagnostic and interventional cardiac catheterizations (See Catheterization Laboratory page). Electrophysiology studies utilize catheter recording and diagnostic techniques inside the heart to determine the function of the heart’s electrical system and the mechanisms of abnormal rhythms. Tachycardias (abnormal, fast heart rhythms) are studied to assist with medical or other therapeutic interventions. Radiofrequency ablation and cryoablation use specially designed catheters to eliminate the focus or pathways in the heart that cause tachycardia or other rapid arrhythmias. It is done in conjunction with an electrophysiology study, including 3-dimensional mapping procedures. At Rady Children’s Hospital, these electrophysiology studies are done as outpatient procedures.

Pacemaker Testing

A pacemaker is a device that tracks and regulates a patient's heart rate and rhythm. When the heart rate is too slow, the pacemaker provides electrical impulses which ensure an appropriate heart rate and rhythm. Pacemakers are periodically tested for their longevity and function with a specialized pacemaker interrogating device and programmer. The evaluation and threshold testing allows reprogramming of the pacemaker to enable optimal activity for the child and maximize battery life, thereby reducing the number of surgical interventions needed. Transtelephonic follow-up is available, reducing clinic visits.


Dr. James Perry and the Electrophysiology Team are involved in a number of local, regional and national clinical research efforts to advance the fields of pediatric and adult congenital heart electrophysiology. The center has a strong history of excellence in electrophysiology since the birth of the EP program at Children’s nearly 20 years ago.

Appointments with the Electrophysiology Service may be made by calling (858) 966-5855 or 1-800-HEART, (1-800-432-7818)