electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
This is a painless, non-invasive test allows the doctor to see the electrical impulses of your heart. An ECG can be done in a resting state or an active state. The technician will place a total of approximately 10 electrode patches on your arms, legs and chest. Sometimes it is necessary to shave small areas of body hair in order to get a good reading. These electrode patches are hooked to an Electrocardiography machine which displays the electrical activity of your heart.
This test can give your doctor the following information about the functioning of your heart:
- Heart attack. EKGs show whether you are currently having a heart attack, have had one in the past, and can help differentiate between chest pain (angina) and a heart attack.
- Heart rate and rhythm. EKGs exhibit how fast or slow your heart is beating, and if the beats are regular or irregular.
- Heart structure. EKGs indicate the size and configuration of the heart and any possible defects.