An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of your heart. An EKG translates the heart's electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves.
Your doctor will look at the pattern of spikes and dips on your electrocardiogram to check the electrical activity in different parts of your heart. The spikes and dips are grouped into different sections that show how your heart is working. See a picture that explains the Reference EKG components and intervals Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
The heart beats in a regular rhythm, usually between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
The tracing looks normal.
The heart beats too slow (such as less than 60 beats per minute).
The heart beats too fast (such as more than 100 beats per minute).
The heart rhythm is not regular.
The tracing does not look normal.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference September 11, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference George Philippides, MD - Cardiology