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Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG)

What is this test for and how can it help?

Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) is a simple painless test that records the heart's electrical activity on a moving strip of graph paper. This test gives the physician important information about the heart. For example, it can show the heart's rate and rhythm. It can also detect decreased blood flow (cardiac ischemia), enlargement of the heart (hypertrophy), or the presence of either current or past heart attacks. The test's results also can suggest other disorders that affect heart function.

Electrocardiogram (EKG/ECG) shows:

  • How fast your heart is beating
  • Whether the rhythm of your heartbeat is steady or irregular
  • The strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each part of your heart

How it's done

During a resting ECG, a technician will attach 10 electrodes with adhesive pads to the skin of your chest, arms and legs. Men may have chest hair shaved to allow a better connection. You will lie flat while the computer creates a picture, on graph paper, of the electrical impulses traveling through your heart.

It takes about 10 minutes to attach the electrodes and complete the test, but the actual recording takes only a few seconds.

Your ECG patterns will be kept on file for comparison with future ECG recordings.

Who to contact

If you would like to schedule diagnostic tests at Lee Health, contact us at (239) 424-1499.