What is an Electrocardiogram?

Electrocardiogram (ECG) is a non-invasive (does not require an incision into the body) test that records the electrical activity of the heart. The electrical activity is related to the impulses that travel through the heart that determines the heart rate and rhythm. These electrical impulses, which cause your heart to contract and relax, are detected by an electrocardiographic machine and are transformed in the form of waves that can be displayed on a graph or monitor.

The ECG contains information about:

  • the patient’s heart rhythm and heart rate
  • any previous or on-going heart attacks
  • the thickening of the heart muscle and enlargement of the chambers of the heart, if any;
  • whether or not blood supply to the patient’s heart is poor.

Together, such data helps the doctor evaluate and provides clues to the likely reasons for the patient’s cardiac condition as well as the appropriate course of treatment.

This test helps the doctor evaluate the patient’s cardiac condition, e.g. if there are any irregular heart rhythm or abnormal ECG morphology.

Abstract from:
Singapore Heart Foundation
British Heart Foundation