1062 Barnes Rd., Suite 300 Wallingford, CT 06492 Phone: (203) 265-9831       Fax: (203) 265-2977

Electrocardiogram

An electrocardiogram, also called "EKG" or "ECG", is a simple test commonly used to check for a wide variety of heart abnormalities.  An ECG is often included as part of an overall physical exam.  ECGs are also used to follow the progression of someone undergoing treatment for a heart condition.

You will recline comfortably on an exam table; six sticky electrodes or "leads" are placed on your chest, and a lead is also placed on each arm and each leg.  These leads are connected by small wires to the ECG machine; the paper in the ECG machine records a graph of your heart activity by registering the tiny electrical currents generated by your heart as it beats.  The test itself is very brief (usually less than 2 minutes), although it takes a couple of additional minutes to set up the ECG machine before the test.  The test is interpreted by a cardiologist.

Some common abnormalities seen on an electrocardiogram include:

  • Irregular or abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Early ECG changes, when comparing the current ECG to a previous ECG, that suggest a developing heart problem
  • Heart enlargement
  • Heart changes that can occur if high blood pressure goes untreated or is inadequately treated
  • Patterns consistent with coronary heart blockages or heart attack (myocardial infarction)

There is no special preparation for this test.  Please bring your insurance card and co-pay (if any) to your appointment.

We hope this has been helpful, but should you have further questions or concerns, please feel free to call our office at (203)265-9831 and ask for the Testing Department.