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Electrocardiogram (EKG)

An EKG is a highly sophisticated diagnostic test, yet painless and quick, as well. Through sound waves, it produces moving images of the heart’s chambers, valves, and surrounding structures to detect any anatomical abnormalities or infections. This test can help your cardiologist diagnose many types of cardiovascular conditions to monitor your overall heart health.

Your cardiologist may recommend an EKG if you’re having any of the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heart palpitations
  • Fainting or collapsing
  • Irregular heart sounds

How Does an EKG Work?

To understand how an EKG works, it helps to understand the electrical system of the heart. This system helps the heart contracts in a steady rhythm and pump blood. Your cardiologist can diagnose several cardiac conditions or heart arrhythmias (heartbeat abnormalities) through an EKG, from heart attack or atrial fibrillation, structural heart disease, and more.

During the EKG, your doctor will place small patches on the skin, called electrodes, on the chest, arms, and legs, that hook up to the electrocardiogram machine. The machine will record the heart’s electrical activity via the electrodes.