Are in occupations that stress the heart or where public safety is a concern
Are an older adult or have diabetes
Already have heart disease
Have had a heart-related procedure, such as getting a
There are no major problems linked to this test.
What to Expect
Prior to Test
Be asked about your health history.
Your chest may be shaved.
Description of Test
You will be asked to lie quietly on your back. Six small, sticky pads will be placed across your chest. Other pads will be placed on your arms and legs. Wires will be attached to the pads. The wires will also connect to the ECG machine. You will not feel anything during the test.
You can return to your normal activity after the test.
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Your doctor will review the ECG. The results may lead to:
More tests to confirm a diagnosis
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you have heart-related symptoms. This includes chest pain or trouble breathing.
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Electrocardiogram-ECG-or-EKG_UCM_309050_Article.jsp. Updated September 11, 2015. Accessed March 5, 2018.
Noninvasive tests and procedures. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Non-Invasive-Tests-and-Procedures_UCM_303930_Article.jsp. Updated September 16, 2016. Accessed March 5, 2018.
What is an electrocardiogram? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ekg/. Accessed March 5, 2018.
Last reviewed March 2018 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Alan Drabkin, MD
Last Updated: 7/6/2018
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