The electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is one of the most basic tests of our hearts. The EKG is done while we lie on our back. Electrodes, which record electrical activity from the skin surface, are placed on our arms, legs, and chest to record the electrical current generated by the heartbeat. The test does not cause pain and takes about five minutes to perform.
An EKG tells your doctor much about the heart. The EKG can change and so are often repeated in patients with heart disease. The EKG can help diagnose a heart attack or an arrhythmia. The function of the hearts electrical system can also be evaluated using the EKG.
There are no special instructions prior to obtaining an EKG. On occasion, the chest is shaved to provide for better contact with the electrodes and a higher quality of study.
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