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What Must One Expect After an Electrocardiogram

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Dec 21, 2012
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)
Quick Bites

  • ECG is a test that records your heart's electrical activity.
  • For an ECG, no special preparations are necessary.
  • The results of your ECG come out the same day it's done.
  • If your EKG is normal, you may not need to undergo any other tests.

More

An electrocardiogram, also known as EKG or ECG, is a test that records your heart's electrical activity. It is painless and helps in detecting and studying many heart problems like heart attacks, arrhythmias, and heart failure. The results of an EKG can also suggest other disorders that affect heart function.

For an ECG, no special preparations are necessary. However, you must avoid drinking cold water or exercising just before an electrocardiogram. Cold water can produce potentially misleading changes in one of the electrical patterns recorded during the test. Physical activity, such as climbing stairs, may increase your heart rate.

An EKG can also show:

  • Lack of blood flow to the heart muscle (coronary heart disease)
  • A heartbeat that's too fast, too slow, or irregular (arrhythmia)
  • A heart that doesn't pump forcefully enough (heart failure)
  • Heart muscle that's too thick or parts of the heart that are too big (cardiomyopathy)
  • Birth defects in the heart (congenital heart defects)
  • Problems with the heart valves (heart valve disease)
  • Inflammation of the sac that surrounds the heart (pericarditis)

ECG

After the Procedure

Mostly, the doctor tells you the results of your ECG the same day it's done. If your EKG is normal, you may not need to undergo any other tests. If the results show there's a problem with your heart, you may need a repeat ECG or other diagnostic tests, such as an echocardiogram. Treatment for your heart's condition depends on what's causing your signs and symptoms.

Risks of ECG

An ECG is a safe procedure which may cause some minor discomfort, similar to removing a bandage, when the electrodes taped to your chest to measure your heart's electrical signals are removed. Rarely, a reaction to the electrodes may cause redness or swelling of the skin.


 

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