An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a medical test performed to detect heart abnormalities by measuring the electrical activity of the heart.
When it's done:
An ECG is recommended:
- As part of the general examination of the heart
- To determine the cause of chest pain, breathlessness, dizziness, fainting or rapid, irregular heartbeats (palpitations)
- To assess how medications or medical devices (such as pacemakers) help keep the disease in control
- To check the health of the heart when other conditions that affect the heart are present (such as a high blood pressure, a high level of cholesterol, diabetes, smoking or a family history of heart diseases)
When to Avoid:
Consult your physician if you are taking some heart medications, as some medicines may change the results of the test.
How to prepare:
Patients with a hairy chest may require some areas of the chest to be shaved for an efficient placement of the electrodes, so as to obtain a good-quality ECG.
Before undergoing the test, patients are required to remove any jewellery and clothes worn above the waist.