An electrocardiogram (ECG – or EKG in the US) is a standard non-invasive cardiovascular test that records the electrical activity of your heart to measure its rate and rhythm. The recorded electrical waves can be analysed to look for evidence of cardiovascular problems including (but not limited to) heart chamber enlargement, heart muscle thickness and previous heart muscle damage.
At Venturi Cardiology we conduct 12-lead ECG scans, which are then analysed by a consultant cardiologist. They will explain the results to you and how they relate to the condition of your heart. An ECG is usually one of the first tests that you will have and is often a test that is repeated to monitor changes over time.
We will provide you and your GP with a copy of your ECG and the report so it can be referred back to if necessary. If you have had an ECG before and a copy is available, then we can make comparisons when we do ours, in order to look for any significant changes.
How should I prepare for an ECG? What happens on the day?
During an ECG ten small stickers are placed on different parts of your body – two on your arms, two on your legs and six on your chest. This enables the electrical activity of the heart to be recorded from 12 different angles. This 12-lead approach is considered the gold standard in ECG monitoring. Once attached, the stickers are connected by wires to an ECG machine and the electrical activity is recorded and printed out on to specially calibrated paper.
Before you can have an ECG test you will need to remove your top items of clothing, as well as your shoes and socks. The test takes only a few minutes and is completely painless.