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ECG

Electrocardiography (ECG or EKG from Greek: kardia, meaning heart) is a transthoracic (across the thorax or chest) interpretation of the electrical activity of the heart over a period of time, ECG - An electrocardiogram, or ECG, is a simple test that detects and records the electrical activity of the heart. It is used to detect and locate the source of heart problems. An ECG shows how fast the heart is beating. It shows the heart's rhythm (steady or irregular). It also records the strength and timing of the electrical signals as they pass through each part of the heart.

The information obtained from an electrocardiogram can be used to discover different types of heart disease. It may be useful for seeing how well the patient is responding to treatment.

  • It is a good idea to have an ECG in the case of symptoms such as dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing), chest pain (angina), fainting, palpitations or when someone can feel that their own heart beat is abnormal.
  • The test can show evidence of disease in the coronary arteries. Unfortunately, in many people who have significant narrowing of the arteries supplying the heart muscle, the ECG recording made at rest is often normal. Therefore, if a significant narrowing is suspected, an ECG recording is often made when the patient is exercising (an exercise stress test) because this is more likely to reveal the problem.
  • An ECG can be used to assess if the patient has had a heart attack or evidence of a previous heart attack.
  • An ECG can be used to monitor the effect of medicines used for coronary artery disease.
  • An ECG reveals rhythm problems such as the cause of a slow or fast heart beat.
  • To demonstrate thickening of a heart muscle (left ventricular hypertrophy), for example due to long-standing high blood pressure.
  • To see if there are too few minerals in the blood.

An ECG may appear normal even in the presence of significant heart disease. Thus, for a full assessment of the heart, other tests may be needed