CHRIS PRIEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHRIS PRIEST / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Close-up photograph of an electrode & catheter used in the cardiac catheterization technique for detecting & treating cardiac arrhythmias. A digital X-ray system assists doctors in the delicate task of positioning a number of electrodes within the chambers of the heart. Electrodes are introduced via catheters inserted into veins in the shoulder & groin. 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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