The ECG which it also refers to an electrocardiogram or EKG is a non-invasive diagnostic test which evaluates the heart’s electrical system to assess for heart disease. It makes use of flat metal electrodes placed on the chest to detect the electrical charges generated by the heart as it beats, which are then graphed. Its pattern is analyzed to get a better understanding of the heart rate and heart rhythm, identify some types of structural heart disease, and evaluate cardiac efficiency.

ECG detects the heart’s electrical rhythm and produces what’s known as a tracing, which looks like squiggly lines. This tracing comprises representations of several waves which recur with each heartbeat, about 60 to 100 times per minute. The wave pattern must have a consistent shape. If the waves are not consistent, or if they do not appear as standard waves, this is indicative of heart disease or problem. There are a variety of characteristic changes that usually occur with different heart concerns, ECG wave patterns can be checked to see if there are suggestive of certain types of heart disease. ECG is ordered as part of a yearly medical examination to screen for heart disease.

ECG can be recommended if the signs or symptoms of heart disease, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting spells. Likewise, if the signs of a TIA or stroke, such as vision changes, numbness, weakness, or communication problems, it is necessary to use an ECG because some types of heart disease can cause a stroke.

If it is heart disease, it may need periodic ECG testing to evaluate whether the disease is worsening and to monitor the treatment effects of the heart medications. An ECG is also needed prior to any type of heart surgery, including surgery for pacemaker placement. A pre-operative screening ECG is needed prior to any surgical procedure that involves general anesthesia because heart disease increases the risk of adverse events from general anesthesia and because this assists in anesthesiologists as anesthetic medications and surgical monitoring is required.

There are numbers of conditions which can be detected when checking pulses, such as tachycardia known as rapid heart rate, bradycardia knew a slow heart rate, and arrhythmia knew irregular heart rate. ECG wave patterns not only verify these alterations in heart rhythm, but certain changes in the shape of the waves also supplied information about the specific type of heart disease and which part of the region in the heart is affected.

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