What Exactly Is an Electrocardiogram?

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for difficulties with the electric activity of your heart. An ECG translates the heart’s electrical action into line tracings on-paper. See a picture of the EKG parts and intervals digicam.

The heart is a muscular pump constructed of four chambers camera. See a photo of the heart and its own electric system camera.

An ekg also is called an Electrocardiogram or ECG. At times the evaluation is called a 12-lead EKG or 12-direct ECG. It is because one’s heart’s electrical process most commonly is recorded from 1-2 different places in the body at the same time.

An EKG reveals:

  • How fast your heart is beating
  • If the rhythm of your pulse is steady or unpredictable
  • The power and time of electric signals as they pass through each portion of your heart

Doctors use EKGs to find and examine many heart issues, like heart attacks, arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), and heart failure. The evaluation’s results can also indicate other illnesses which influence heart function.

Who Needs an Electrocardiogram?

Your physician may recommend an electrocardiogram (EKG) in case you’ve got signs or symptoms that indicate a heart trouble. Instances of aforementioned symptoms and signals include:

  • Chest pain
  • Heart thumping, rushing, or fluttering, or the sense your heart is beating unevenly
  • Respiration difficulties
  • Tiredness and weakness
  • When your own doctor listens to your own pulse uncommon heart sounds

You might need to get greater than one EKG so that your physician can diagnose specific heart conditions. An EKG additionally could be achieved within a regular health examination. Your physician is more prone to search for early heart disease in case your mother, dad, brother, or sister had heart disease–particularly early in life.

You could have an EKG so that your physician can check how good heart medication or a medical device, like a pacemaker, is working. The evaluation also may be useful for regular screening before major surgery.

Your physician also may use EKG results to assist plan your treatment to get a heart condition.

Why ECG or EKG is Done?

An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is carried out to:

  • Get the reason for unexplained chest pain, which may result from a heart attack, inflammation of the sac enclosing the heart (pericarditis), or angina.
  • Get the explanation for symptoms of cardiovascular disease, including shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or fast, irregular heartbeats (palpitations).
  • Learn if the walls of the heart chambers are excessively thick (hypertrophied).
  • Assess how nicely medications are working and if they may be causing side effects that impact the heart.
  • Assess how nicely mechanical apparatuses which can be planted in one’s heart, for example pacemakers, are operating to restrain the usual pulse.

How You Can Prepare

Many medications may alter the outcomes of the evaluation. Remember to inform your physician about all of the nonprescription and prescription medicines you take. Your physician will say the way to take your medications before you have this evaluation, should you take heart medications.

Remove all jewelry from your own neck, arms, and wrists. Guies are often bare-chested during the evaluation. Girls may regularly put on a bra, Tshirt, or gown. You need to take them off, if you’re wearing stockings.

Speak to your physician about any problems you might have regarding the requirement for the test, its risks, the way that it is going to be done, or exactly what the results will mean. To assist you comprehend the significance of the test, complete the medical test information form.

You’ll be requested to lie down. The physician will clean several places on your own legs, arms, and torso, then attach little patches called electrodes to the regions. So the patches stick to the skin it might be required to shave or cut some hair. The amount of patches used may change.

The patches are linked by cables to your machine that turns the heart’s electric signals into wavy lines, which tend to be printed on paper. The evaluation results are reviewed by a doctor.

You typically must stay still throughout the process. The physician could also request that you hold your breath for just a few seconds as the evaluation will be done. Any motion, including muscle tremors for example shivering, can change the outcomes.

Occasionally this evaluation is done when you are exercising or under minimal stress to monitor developments in one’s heart. This sort of ECG is generally referred to as a stress test.

Standard ECG results contain:

  • Heart rate: 60 to 100 beats per minute
  • Heart rhythm: even and consistent

Unusual ECG results can be an indication of:

  • Damage or changes to one’s heart muscle
  • Congenital heart defect
  • Enlargement of the heart
  • Fluid or swelling in the sac round the heart
  • Inflammation of the heart (myocarditis)
  • Previous or present heart attack
  • Inferior blood supply to one’s heart arteries
  • Strange heart rhythms (arrhythmias)

 

Some heart conditions which can result in changes on an ECG evaluation contain:

  • Atrial fibrillation/flutter
  • Heart failure
  • Multifocal atrial tachycardia
  • Sick sinus syndrome
  • Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome
  • Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia

 

Do You Know the Risks of an Electrocardiogram?

It’s a benign, painless test that finds the heart’s electrical activity. EKGs don’t give off electric charges, including jolts.

You could develop a light rash where the electrodes (soft spells) were attached. This rash frequently goes away without treatment.