An electrocardiogram often known as ECG or EKG, is performed to assess the electrical activity and rhythm of your heart. The electrical signals created each time your heart beats are picked up by sensors that are affixed to your skin. A machine records these signals, which are then examined by a clinician to determine their significance.
Three waves—the P wave, the QRS complex, the T wave, and the pauses between them—make up the normal ECG wave pattern. During a cardiac cycle, the atria and ventricles of the heart contract and relax, which is represented by these waves.
Many common cardiac disorders can be diagnosed using an ECG, which is a painless, noninvasive procedure. An ECG may be used by a medical professional to establish or spot:
ECG recording machines are specialized devices used to trace the electrical activity of the heart. The term “electrocardiography” refers to the process of creating an ECG. Typically, a machine only has a few electrodes (sensors) and a central unit. The analogue inputs of advanced ECG devices are converted to digital inputs by analogue to digital converters. These digital impulses are either printed on paper or seen on a screen. Since ECG is the depiction of one cardiac cycle, some medical disorders can be diagnosed based on the gaps between the wave patterns of two successive ECGs.
Any doctor who suspects you may have a cardiac condition may request an ECG. It is now the most frequently employed test in the evaluation of patients and a crucial component of cardiac care strategies.
An ECG or electrocardiogram is different from an echocardiogram which is a scan of the heart.
There are two main types of information an electrocardiogram can reveal: –
First, the doctor can ascertain the duration of an electrical impulse passing through the heart to pinpoint whether the electrical activity is slow, medium, or quick.
Second, a doctor can learn whether there is normal electrical activity. Electrical activity levels are abnormal if the heart is worn out or frail.
An echocardiography creates images of your heart using sound waves. Your doctor can watch your heart beating and pumping blood thanks to this typical test. Heart disease can be detected by your doctor using the pictures from an echocardiography.
An echocardiogram is advised to:
In Transthoracic echocardiogram a sonographer’s assistant firstly applies gel to a machine (transducer).In order to direct an ultrasound beam through your chest and toward your heart, the sonographer presses the transducer firmly against your skin.
The transducer captures the echo of your heartbeat on tape. The echoes are translated by a computer into moving pictures on a monitor.
You might require a modest injection of an enhancing chemical through an intravenous (IV) line if your ribs or lungs are blocking the view. The generally safe and well-tolerated boosting agent will make your heart’s architecture appear more clearly on a monitor.
An exercise stress test, often known as a stress test, demonstrates how your heart responds to physical exertion. Exercise stress testing can identify issues with blood flow within your heart since exercise causes your heart to beat quicker and harder.
In a typical stress test, you’ll walk on a treadmill or ride a stationary bike while having your breathing, blood pressure, and heartbeat recorded. Or you’ll be given a medication that simulates the benefits of exercise.
A Holter monitor is a tiny, wearable gadget that keeps track of the heartbeat. It is utilised to identify or assess the possibility of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).
If a conventional electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) doesn’t reveal enough information about the condition of the heart, a Holter monitor test may be performed. An event recorder, a longer-term monitor, may be required if the irregular heartbeats happen infrequently.
If you experience any of the following:
An electrocardiogram will be performed before you receive a Holter monitor (ECG or EKG). An ECG is a rapid and painless test that measures the heart’s rhythm using sensors (electrodes) taped to the chest.An ECG could miss arrhythmias if you experience them infrequently. An ECG may have missed abnormal cardiac rhythms, which a Holter monitor may be able to detect.
An event monitor, which records heartbeats over several weeks, may be advised if traditional Holter monitoring is unable to detect an irregular heartbeat.
Usually, a Holter monitor is used for one to two days. The gadget captures each heartbeat during that time. Holter monitoring is non-invasive and painless. Wires and sensors (electrodes) can be concealed by clothing. The gadget is fastened to a strap or worn on a belt. The Holter monitor must be worn the entire time it is being recorded, even while you are sleeping.
A Holter monitor can be harmed by water. The entire time you are using a Holter monitor, avoid swimming, taking a shower, or taking a bath. You will be shown how to unplug and plug in the sensors and monitor if you have a wireless Holter monitor so that you can take a shower or a bath.
Unless your physician advises you differently, you can carry out the majority of your everyday activities while wearing a Holter monitor. A sheet to document your activities and any symptoms can be handed to you. You should take special attention if you experience any of the following signs or symptoms:
Twenty-four-hour ambulatory blood pressure monitoring is a way of measuring and managing high blood pressure (hypertension)
BP recordings may be erroneously high in clinics in patient with whitecoat hypertension. ABPM helps to understand blood pressure trends over 24 hours to manage it better.
Ambulatory BP monitoring yields many readings over a continuous period. In most cases, readings are taken every 20 to 30 minutes during the day and every hour at night. Your heart rate can be measured at the same time. These multiple readings are averaged over the 24-hour period. Changes in BP and heart rate, the BP distribution pattern and other statistics are calculated.