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You may want to assess your heart with an ECG if you are having breathing difficulties or chest pain, especially on exertion, or if you are having palpitations or feel that your own heart beat is abnormal. It may also be done if you are having unexplained episodes of syncope (Fainting) or collapse. An ECG may be used to check for evidence of a heart attack or damage to the heart caused by long standing high blood pressure. However, performing an exercise ECG would be best to assess for ischemic (coronary) heart disease.
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An ECG shows the heart’s electrical activity as line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the tracings are called waves. The heart is a muscular pump made up of four chambers.
ECG of a heart in normal sinus rhythm: In a conventional 12-lead ECG, 10 electrodes are placed on the patient’s limbs and on the surface of the chest. The overall magnitude of the heart’s electrical potential is then measured from 12 different angles (“leads”) and is recorded over a period of time (usually 10 seconds).
This non-invasive test can measure many things, from how fast the heart beats, to how well the heart’s chambers are conducting electrical energy. An abnormal ECG scan mean many things. Sometimes ECG abnormalities are a normal variation of a heart’s rhythm, which does not affect your health.
Different heart conditions and problems can cause abnormal EKG readings, including congenital heart defects, an enlarged heart, poor blood supply flowing to the heart and arrhythmia, according to MedlinePlus. An ECG, is also known as an electrocardiogram.
The ECG can easily tell us the heart rate, the heart rhythm, and much more. Newer variations include the ability to record 24 hour or longer ambulatory ECGs to look for rhythm problems, and electro physiologists look at ECG like measurements of specific areas of the heart during cardiac catheterization to find the areas causing rhythm problems. ECGs can be done during exercise as a stress test, can be synched with images of the heart during nuclear medicine scans to give even more information, and are used to time images during CT angiograms to improve images of coronary arteries.
ECG testing and interpretation £75.00