Electrocardiogram (ECG)

What is an ECG?

An ECG – or electrocardiogram – is a simple and useful test which records the rhythm and electrical activity of your heart.

What will happen during my ECG?

Small sticky patches called electrodes will be put onto your arms, legs and chest. These are connected to an ECG recording machine which picks up the electrical signals that make your heart beat. The machine records a few beats from each set of the electrodes onto paper. The test will only take a few minutes and is painless.

What can an ECG show?

An ECG can detect problems you may have with your heart rhythm. It can help doctors tell if you are having a heart attack or if you’ve had a heart attack in the past. Sometimes an ECG can indicate if your heart is enlarged or thickened.

There are a few other types of ECG, including a 24-hour ECG, cardiac event recorders and an exercise ECG.

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