What is electrocardiography?
Electrocardiography is a widely used method for examining heart performance. It is based on measuring the electrical activity of the myocardium (heart muscle) in different phases of the cardiac cycle (contraction and relaxation of heart chambers), as well as its graphic representation in the form of an electrocardiogram. ECG is the main screening method of diagnosing heart conditions. There are no restrictions on its use.
Electrocardiography helps to identify:
- symptoms of cardiac blood flow disturbance – ischemic changes, infarction.
- the changes in myocardial contractility.
- the changes in cardiac conduction – blockages, cardiac rhythm disturbances.
- symptoms of an enlarged heart.
- signs of excessive physical activity.
- results of arterial hypertension.
- changes that are typical for other cardiac diseases.
- symptoms of the changes in the heart’s electrophysiology as a result of the diseases in other organs and systems (thyroid gland disorders, the changes in the electrolyte composition in blood, pulmonary diseases, etc.).
Electrocardiography at Kivach Clinic
The indications for ECG:
- Undergoing any program at the clinic.
- Future surgical intervention.
- Suspicion of cardiac disease, deterioration of the condition of a patient with cardiac pathology.
- Arterial hypertension.
- Pain in the chest area, shortness of breath, the feeling of disruption in heart performance, vertigo, tachycardia.
- Diseases of other organs and systems: chronic tonsillitis, pulmonary diseases, thyroid gland disorders, neuralgia, etc.
- As a preventive measure, electrocardiography is performed once a year on patients over 40.
If the test indicates a pathology, the patient undergoes an extensive examination and consults a cardiologist.
ECG records heart performance only at the moment of the examination. If there is a suspicion of changes in cardiac electrical activity (e.g., rhythm disruptions, angina, etc.), one of the methods of 24-hour ECG is used: Holter monitoring, 24-hour ECG and blood pressure monitoring, cardio-respiratory monitoring. The type of examination is prescribed by an attending physician or cardiologist, depending on many factors (the type of complaints, medical history, ECG results).
What to expect during the procedure?
A patient lays down on his/her back on an examination table. The patient’s upper body and lower legs should be free of clothes. A doctor applies special gel onto the skin and attaches the sensors – one for each wrist and lower leg, as well as six on the chest. ECG is taken first when the patient is breathing normally, and after that the patient is asked to hold his/her breath for a short period of time. The test lasts 1-2 minutes.
ECG can be done after doing an exercise. In this case the patient is asked to do an exercise (for example, do 20 squats) after completing the first ECG test, and then the second graph is recorded.
ECG is interpreted by a cardiologist of a functional diagnosis doctor. If the patient has previous ECG graphs, it helps to monitor the changes.
There are no absolute contraindications for this diagnostic method.
The test is not performed if it is impossible to obtain accurate data due to:
- skin damage or strong pain in the test area, which makes it impossible for the sensors to have a good contact with the skin.
- excess hair on the chest area, in which case the test is possible only when the hair is removed.
- Is the test safe?
Yes, the test is safe.
- Is the test painful?
The test is absolutely painless.
There might be short-term discomfort at the beginning of the test when the cool gel is applied to the skin.
- How to prepare?
No special preparation is required.
One should not run or walk fast right before the test, as well as do any other form of active exercise. Being physically and emotionally calm during ECG helps to obtain the most accurate data.
It is recommended to provide the doctor with your previous ECG graphs for comparison.
- Are complications possible?
There are no complications during ECG.
- What ensures that the test is successful?
- Qualified doctors with extensive practical experience.
- Advanced equipment.
- Compliance with the standards of medical care.