Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG): A Comprehensive Guide

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a non-invasive medical test that is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. It is a valuable diagnostic tool that provides information about the heart’s rhythm and can detect abnormalities such as arrhythmias, ischemia, and infarction. ECG is a widely used diagnostic test that can be performed quickly and easily, making it an essential tool for diagnosing and managing cardiovascular disease.

Why is an ECG (EKG) test performed?

An ECG is performed to detect and diagnose various heart conditions. It can help diagnose:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmias)
  • Ischemia or reduced blood flow to the heart
  • Previous heart attacks (myocardial infarctions)
  • Structural problems with the heart
  • What does an ECG (EKG) test involve?

An ECG test is a simple, painless, and non-invasive procedure that takes only a few minutes. The patient lies down on an examination table, and the technician places electrodes on the patient’s chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are connected to a machine that records the electrical activity of the heart.

During the test, the patient must lie still and breathe normally. The technician may ask the patient to hold their breath for a few seconds during the test. The test results are typically available within minutes of the completion of the test.

What are the normal interpretations for ECG (EKG) results?

ECG results are interpreted by a physician or cardiologist. They look for certain patterns in the heart’s electrical activity to diagnose various heart conditions. The normal ranges for ECG results are as follows:

Parameter Normal Range
Heart rate 60-100 bpm
PR interval 120-200 ms
QRS duration 80-120 ms
QT interval 350-440 ms

It is important to note that ECG results can vary depending on a person’s age, gender, and physical condition. Abnormalities in ECG results may not always indicate a heart condition, and further testing may be required to confirm a diagnosis.


American Heart Association. (2022). Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).

Mayo Clinic. (2022). Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG).

MedlinePlus. (2022).

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