What is an Electrocardiogram (ECG) ?
Our heart has a natural electrical system that causes it to contract as well as pump blood to our body. An ECG or Electrocardiogram is a procedure that examines your heart’s activity. The result is recorded in the form of tracing lines on a paper or computer monitor in the form of a wave.
Why is an ECG test done?
1. Arrhythmia : It is a condition in which your heart beats irregularly.
2. Heart attack : During a heart attack, its blood supply is blocked suddenly.
3. Cardiomyopathy : It is a condition where the heart walls become enlarged or thickened.
4. Coronary artery disease : In this disease, the supply of blood gets interrupted by the buildup of fatty substances.
Which are the tests performed during an ECG?
2. Ambulatory ECG
1. Exercise or stress ECG
How is an ECG conducted?
How to prepare for an ECG scan?
- Make sure that you tell your doctor about all the medications you take, including over-the-counter ones, as there are several medicines that affect the results of an ECG test.
- You must remove all accessories such as jewellery, watches etc from your body before going under the ECG scanner.
How does an ECG help?
- Identify the reason behind unexplained chest pain or pressure. The cause can be a heart attack, insufficient flow of blood to your heart muscle (angina) or inflammation of the sac that surrounds and protects your heart or pericarditis.
- Identify the causes and symptoms of cardiovascular diseases, such as palpitations, fainting, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
- Identify whether the walls of the heart chambers are too thick.
- Check how efficiently the medication is working and whether they are causing any side effects that affect the heart.
- Check how efficiently mechanical devices like pacemakers implanted in the heart are working.
- Check your heart health, especially with conditions such as diabetes, cigarette smoking, high cholesterol, high blood pressure or when you have a family history of heart disease.