An ECG is a quick, easy test that records the electrical signals generated by the heart with each heart beat. An ECG may be performed as a routine screening test (eg before surgery) or in people complaining of problems such as chest pain, palpitations, high blood pressure, or shortness of breath. It can provide important information about the heart rhythm, a previous heart attack, thickness of the heart muscle, inadquate oxygen delivery to the heart, or problems with the conduction of electrical signals through the heart.
The ECG procedure
Cardiac signals are detected by multiple electrodes (sticky pads), placed on the chest and shoulders, and transcribed onto paper by the ECG machine. The procedure takes approximately 5 minutes.
After the test
Your cardiologist will interpret the ECG. It is important to note that a normal ECG does not exclude heart disease, and further testing may be necessary.