Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) (cont.)

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When is an ECG (EKG) performed?

  1. As part of a routine physical examination or screening evaluation.
  2. As part of a cardiac exercise stress test.
  3. As part of the evaluation of symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting, palpitations, or
  4. As part of the preoperative workup for surgery in patients who may be at an age where heart disease could potentially be present.

What conditions may be diagnosed with an ECG (EKG)?

  1. Abnormally fast or irregular heart rhythms.
  2. Abnormally slow heart rhythms.
  3. Abnormal conduction of cardiac impulses, which may suggest underlying cardiac or metabolic disorders.
  4. Evidence of the occurrence of a prior heart attack (myocardial infarction).
  5. Evidence of an evolving, acute heart attack.
  6. Evidence of an acute impairment to blood flow to the heart during an episode of a threatened heart attack (unstable angina).
  7. Adverse effects on the heart from various heart diseases or systemic diseases (such as high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, etc.).
  8. Adverse effects on the heart from certain lung conditions (such as emphysema, pulmonary embolus [blood clots to lung]).
  9. Certain congenital heart abnormalities.
  10. Evidence of abnormal blood electrolytes (potassium, calcium, magnesium).
  11. Evidence of inflammation of the heart or its lining (myocarditis, pericarditis).
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2015

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