Cardiology | by Dr. Ashok B Malpani
Electrocardiogram, commonly known as ECG or EKG, is a medical test used to assess the electrical activity of the heart. It records the electrical signals generated by the heart and displays them as a visual representation on a graph. ECG is a non-invasive and painless test that is routinely used by healthcare professionals to diagnose and monitor various cardiac conditions. This blog contains information about electrocardiogram and how it works. Please note that this blog is only for informational purposes and does not replace the significance of a doctor’s consultation.
ECG works by detecting the electrical impulses generated by the heart as it contracts and relaxes. It is a painless and non-invasive test that involves attaching small electrodes to the chest, arms, and legs. These electrodes are connected to an ECG machine that records the electrical signals generated by the heart.
The ECG machine records the electrical activity of the heart from different angles and displays it as a visual representation on a graph. The graph consists of several waves and segments that correspond to different events in the cardiac cycle.
An electrocardiogram (ECG) may be recommended by the doctor for various reasons. It is important to note that the decision to perform an ECG must be based on individual circumstances and medical history. Your healthcare provider will determine if an ECG is necessary based on your symptoms, medical history, and physical examination. Here are some common reasons why patients can be recommended an ECG -
ECG tracks the heart’s activity for a short time. Therefore, it does not pick up irregularities that happen once in a while. The doctor may diagnose your condition based on the types of devices like Holter Monitor (the patient wears the device for 24 to 48 hours) or Event Monitor (the patient wears this device for a week or more). ECG can diagnose various cardiac conditions, including -
Interpreting an ECG requires specialised training and expertise. A trained healthcare professional can analyze the ECG and identify any abnormalities in the electrical activity of the heart. They look for various features like -
ECG is a valuable tool for diagnosing and monitoring various cardiac conditions. It is a non-invasive and painless test that involves attaching electrodes to the chest, arms, and legs. A trained healthcare professional can analyze the ECG and identify any abnormalities in the electrical activity of the heart. If you experience any cardiac symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath, seek medical attention immediately. Your healthcare provider may recommend an ECG or other diagnostic tests to evaluate your heart health.
ECG or EKG are different abbreviations of the same test. An electrocardiogram is used to measure an individual’s heart functioning by measuring electrical impulses. People may also refer to an electrocardiogram as an electrocardiograph. Electrocardiogram is a graph showing heart activity whereas an electrocardiogram is a machine used to measure.
No, ECGs are safe, noninvasive, and painless tests with no major risks. However, you may feel slight discomfort or irritation when the electrodes are attached to the skin with sticky patches.
No, there is nothing special you should do before the test. You can eat and drink normally as you do. However, it is important to follow the instructions given by the doctor before the test to ensure accurate results.