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What is an electrocardiogram used for?

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Your doctor may suggest you get an electrocardiogram -- also called an EKG or ECG -- to check for signs of heart disease. It's a test that records the electrical activity of your heart through small electrode patches that a technician attaches to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. With this test, your doctor will be able to:

  • Check your heart rhythm
  • See if you have poor blood flow to your heart muscle (this is called ischemia)
  • Diagnose a heart attack
  • Check on things that are abnormal, such as thickened heart muscle
  • Detect if there are significant electrolyte abnormalities, such as high potassium or high or low calcium.

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: "Electrocardiogram" and "Holter Monitor (24h)."

American College of Cardiology -- CardioSmart.org: "Women and Heart Disease."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on July 06, 2019

SOURCES:

MedlinePlus: "Electrocardiogram" and "Holter Monitor (24h)."

American College of Cardiology -- CardioSmart.org: "Women and Heart Disease."

Reviewed by Suzanne R. Steinbaum on July 06, 2019

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