What is the purpose of ecg test? What is an electrocardiogram?

What is an electrocardiogram? 

An electrocardiogram, or ECG (E = electro, C = cardio or heart, G = gram as in writing think of grammar), measures the electrical activity of the heart. Electrodes are attached to your chest, wrists, and ankles, and the electrical signals they measure are recorded on paper or on a computer screen. Abnormalities in the pattern of waves can be interpreted by your physician as possible signs of heart disease.

The most common type of ECG is called a resting ECG, because it is performed while you are lying down. This test is often part of a routine physical exam, but is not very revealing unless you have major damage to your heart. Much more revealing is the exercise ECG, done while you walk or run on a treadmill with the electrodes attached to your chest. This is also called a stress ECG, as it tests your heart during the stress of physical activity. A stress ECG reveals damage to the heart caused by a narrowing of the arteries, which prevents sufficient oxygen from getting to the heart muscle: the heart cries out for more oxygen during exercise.


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