An electrocardiogram, also known as an EKG, is a diagnostic test that measures the electrical activity of the heart. and translates the information it receives into a pattern of waves for analysis.
An electrocardiogram can be used to detect or determine the following:
- Heart attack
- Coronary artery disease
- Heart defects
- Heart valve problems
- Effectiveness of a pacemaker
This test is performed by attaching electrical wires, called electrodes, to the arms, legs and chest. The EKG will begin recording your heart's electrical activity, showing how quickly and regularly your heart beats, as well as any structural abnormalities in the chambers and thickness of the heart. It is important for patients to remain still during this test, as muscle movement may interfere with results. The test usually takes 5-10 minutes, and is noninvasive and painless.