Electrocardiogram Testing (EKG)
What is an electrocardiogram?
An electrocardiogram (EKG), or ecg test is a painless test done to record the heart’s electrical activity. This test is done in our Beverly Hills office, and takes anywhere between 5-10 minutes to perform. The electrocardiogram will show the doctor how fast your heart is beating, if your heartbeat is steady or irregular, if there exists an underlying heart condition, and the strength and timing of the electrical signal as they pass through each part of your heart.
Why is the electrocardiogram performed?
Doctors use EKGs to detect and study many different heart problems, such as heart failure, heart attacks, heart arrhythmias, etc. It is also a great aid in detecting other disorders that affect the heart’s normal function. It is also important to have an EKG performed at a younger age to have has a comparison as you age.
How is it performed?
The electrocardiogram will be performed by a healthcare professional and interpreted by the physician. The test begins with the technician attaching the leads of the EKG machine to the patient’s body while they lay flat. The EKG machine tracks the electrical impulses of the heart, which is then recorded by the machine and printed for the physician to review. This test is painless and non-invasive.
How to prepare for the electrocardiogram test?
There is no special preparation for this test. Although, in some cases the areas of the body where the leads will be attached may need to be shaved if there is an overabundance of hair growth, to prevent any discomfort when removing the electrodes from the body due to the adhesive on the electrodes.
Normal and abnormal EKG results
The results will be printed immediately after the test has been performed. The physician will then review the results. If the doctor does find that there are any irregularities the patient will then be referred to a reputable cardiologist, and a treatment plan will be made.
What can be diagnosed with an electrocardiograph?
- Abnormally fast heart rhythms
- Abnormally slow heart rhythms
- Evidence of an evolving acute heart attack
- Evidence of the occurrence of an acute heart attack or a prior heart attack
- High blood pressure
- Thyroid conditions
- Forming blood clots
- Evidence of inflammation of the heart or its lining also known as myocarditis or pericarditis
- Abnormal blood electrolytes (potassium, calcium, magnesium)
- Adverse effects on the heart from certain lung conditions, such as, emphysema and pulmonary embolus (blood clots to the lung)