Quick GuideA Visual Guide to Heart Disease
When is an ECG (EKG) performed?
- As part of a routine physical examination or screening evaluation.
- As part of a cardiac exercise stress test.
- As part of the evaluation of symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting, palpitations, or
- 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
- Abnormally fast or irregular heart rhythms.
- Abnormally slow heart rhythms.
- Abnormal conduction of cardiac impulses, which may suggest underlying
cardiac or metabolic disorders.
- Evidence of the occurrence of a prior heart attack (myocardial
- Evidence of an evolving, acute heart attack.
- Evidence of an acute impairment to blood flow to the heart during an
episode of a threatened heart attack (unstable angina).
- Adverse effects on the heart from various heart diseases or systemic
diseases (such as high blood pressure, thyroid conditions, etc.).
- Adverse effects on the heart from certain lung conditions (such as
pulmonary embolus [blood clots to lung]).
- Certain congenital heart abnormalities.
- Evidence of abnormal blood electrolytes (potassium, calcium, magnesium).
- Evidence of inflammation of the heart or its lining (myocarditis,
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/18/2015