CHRIS PRIEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS PRIEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cardiac catheterization procedure at St George's hospital, London, used for the localization and treatment of cardiac arrhythmias. A digital X-ray system allows the cardiologist to position a number of fine wire electrodes within the chambers of the heart; some appear on the monitor image. The electrodes are introduced via catheters inserted into veins in the groin and neck. Readings from the various electrodes provide a map of electrical conduction within the heart - disturbances in these signals are the cause of arrhythmias. In addition to diagnosis, the electrodes may be used in treatment to ablate (electrically knock-out) a region of tissue.
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