EKG (Electrocardiography) is a painless test, the process of producing an electrocardiogram recording a graph of voltage versus time of the electrical activity of the heart using electrodes placed on the skin.
These electrodes detect the small electrical changes that are a consequence of cardiac muscle depolarization followed by repolarization during each cardiac cycle or heartbeat.
Changes in the normal EKG pattern occur in numerous cardiac abnormalities, including:
Cardiac rhythm disturbances (such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia)
Inadequate coronary artery blood flow (such as myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarction)
Electrolyte disturbances (such as hypokalemia and hyperkalemia)
USES OF EKG
The goal of performing an EKG is to obtain information about the electrical function of the heart.
Medical uses for this information are often need to be combined with knowledge of the structure of the heart and physical examination signs to be interpreted.
Some indications for performing an EKG include:
Chest pain or suspected myocardial infarction (heart attack)
Symptoms such as shortness of breath, murmurs, fainting, seizures, funny turns, or abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
Medication treatment monitoring
Perioperative monitoring in which any form of anesthesia is involved
Cardiac stress testing
Computed tomography angiography (CTA) and magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) of the heart
Clinical cardiac electrophysiology
An EKG test is a safe procedure. There is no risk of electrical shock during the test because the electrodes used do not produce electricity.
The electrodes only record the electrical activity of your heart.
You may have minor discomfort, similar to removing a bandage, when the electrodes are removed.
Some people may develop a slight rash where the patches were placed.
There is no special preparations are necessary for a standard electrocardiogram.
Make sure to tell your doctor about any medications and supplements you take, as some may affect the results of your test.