An electrocardiogram (also called EKG or ECG) is a test that records the electrical activity of your heart through small electrode patches attached to the skin of your chest, arms, and legs. An EKG may be part of a routine physical exam or it may be used as a test for heart disease. An EKG can be used to further investigate symptoms related to heart problems.
EKGs are quick, safe, painless, and inexpensive tests that are routinely performed if a heart condition is suspected.
Your doctor uses the EKG to:
- Assess your heart rhythm
- Diagnose poor blood flow to the heart muscle (ischemia)
- Diagnose a heart attack
- Evaluate certain abnormalities of your heart, such as an enlarged heart