Electrocardiogram (ECG)

What is an Electrocardiogram?

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An ECG translates the heart’s electrical activity into line tracings on paper for a physician to review and interpret. Time: approximately 15 minutes.

Reasons for the Test:

  • Check the heart’s electrical activity.
  • Determine the cause of unexplained chest pain such as: heart attack, inflammation of the heart or angina.
  • Finds the cause of your symptoms such as: chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting or rapid irregular heartbeats (palpitations).
  • Determine if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick (hypertrophied).
  • Determine if you have had a heart attack in the past.
  • Help predict if there are any blockages in your arteries.
  • Monitor changes in your heart rhythm.

How To Prepare:

You can eat and perform your regular daily activities before the test.

  • Do NOT consume any caffeine 4 hours prior to your test including: tea, coffee, decaffeinated products, chocolate, soda pop or medications containing caffeine.
  • Do NOT apply lotion, perfume or poweder to the chest area prior to your appointment

How It Is Done:

An electrocardiogram (ECG) is performed by a certified technician. The resulting ECG is interpreted by a doctor (internist, family physician, cardiologist and/or surgeon). You may receive an ECG as part of a physical examination at your health professionals office or during a series of tests at a hospital or clinic.