An ECG (Electrocardiogram) is a simple, non-invasive and painless recording of the electrical activity of your heart on a graph paper.
What can an ECG detect?
- Arrhythmias – Abnormal heart rhythms resulting in irregular heart beats or palpitations
- Cardiac ischemia – Heart artery blockages resulting in poor blood flow to the heart muscle
- Acute myocardial infarction – Ongoing heart attack
- Old myocardial infarction – Previous damage to the heart muscle
- Dilated cardiomyopathy – Structural abnormalities of the heart such as heart chamber enlargement
- Ventricular hypertrophy – Thickened heart muscles due to high blood pressure
- Pericarditis – Inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart
- How well a current heart disease treatment (eg. pacemaker device) is working
Who will benefit from this test?
Patients with symptoms of
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Irregular heart beats
- Recurrent giddiness or fainting spells
- Patients planning to participate in strenuous sporting activities.
- Patients with a family history of sudden cardiac death.
- As part of Heart Screening
How to prepare for the test
- Wear a shirt that can be easily removed so as to facilitate placement of electrodes on the chest
- Avoid full-length hosiery as electrodes will be placed directly on your legs
- Avoid any emollients or lotions on the day of the test as they interfere with the electrode-skin contact.
- Inform our doctor if you are on any medications or supplements as they may affect the outcome of your ECG.
How is the test performed?
- You will be asked to lie down on a couch and a cardiac technician will attach 10 electrodes with adhesive pads to the skin on your chest, arms and legs. Men may need their chest hair shaved to allow a better connection.
- The ECG machine will create a picture on a graph paper of the electrical impulses that travel through your heart.
- Your ECG pattern will be reviewed by our doctor and kept on file for comparisons with future ECG recordings.
- The whole process typically takes only a few minutes and is painless.