Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG)

Definition - What does Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) mean?

An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG for short) is a diagnostic tool used to record the electrical activity of the heart at rest, providing information about the heart rate and rhythm. This recording is done through small electrode patches which are attached to specific parts of the body, namely the chest, arms, and legs. The electrocardiogram reveals evidence of hypertension (high blood pressure) or previous heart attacks. EKGs are performed on patients who have symptoms of heart disease such as high blood pressure, chest pain, shortness of breath, and irregular heart beat. They are used in order to diagnose heart arrhythmias, heart attacks, heart failure, and to check on pacemaker function.

TheConsultation explains Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG)

An EKG is a painless, quick, and noninvasive test that is used to detect and diagnose heart problems, as well as monitor the condition of patients admitted to hospital for various reasons. The test gives the doctor information about the heart rate (how fast the heart beats) and the heart rhythm (the type of heart beat). Most doctor’s offices and all clinics and hospitals are equipped with EKGs. The test is performed by attaching small electrode patches onto the skin: one is placed on each upper arm and on each leg, and six patches are placed onto the chest. The patches are connected to the EKG machine to recorde the electrical impulses that the heart creates, printing them either on paper or digitally. The patient lies down while the test is performed, and the chest has to be hairless and dry for the recording to be performed accurately and with no interference.

In cases of suspected hear rhythm abnormalities, the patient can be given a portable EKG that records the heart’s electrical activity over the course of several days – this is called a holter monitor.

Share this: