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Electrocardiogram

An electrocardiogram or ECG is a non-invasive diagnostic test to record the electrical voltage in the heart so as to understand its functioning and regularity of heart beats. The electrocardiogram or EKG can help in diagnosing cardiovascular disease. The ECG is used to check for any damage to the heart and regulate the functioning of the pacemaker.

An electrocardiogram measures the electrical activity within the heart, thereby throwing light on the how the heart muscles function. This test is not painful. An ECG is recommended for patients who complain of regular chest pain or palpitations to check for the normal functioning of the heart. It can help in detecting heart attack or (ischaemia) ischemia. If a patient suffers from hypothermia, pulmonary embolism, mitral stenosis or left ventricular hypertrophy, an EKG can help in diagnosis.

Other non-cardiac problems such as drug overdose or electrolyte imbalance can be diagnosed with an EKG. Abnormal results from an ECG test may be indicative of arrhythmia, myocarditis, impending heart attack or enlarged heart.

Treadmill stress test

A treadmill stress test is used to evaluate any irregular heart beats on exercise and exertion. Those suffering from borderline hypertension may be asked to undergo treadmill stress test to evaluate blood pressure response to exercise. The treadmill stress test is a cardiac stress test that is used to diagnose coronary artery disease or any heart-related ailments. Treadmill Stress Test is sometimes called an exercise electrocardiogram. The person is fitted with electrodes in about 10 locations on the arm and chest to measure blood pressure and EKG. Then the treadmill is started, initially at slow pace and later much faster. Some heart medications may be need to be stopped for a day or two. The treadmill stress test is much like any strenuous exercise such as running up a flight of stairs. It is essential that the treadmill stress test is conducted under proper supervision. This test indicates how well the heart functions and if the blood supply in the arteries is reduced on exertion. Persons scheduled for treadmill stress test must not eat or drink for about 3 hours prior to the test.


Cardiac event monitor

The cardiac event monitor is a small device that is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. The cardiac event monitoring test allows for on-demand heart monitoring outside the hospital/clinic settings when symptoms are noted by the patient as he/she goes through the normal routine. The information collected by a cardiac event monitor is often sent over the phone to a doctor's office, clinic or hospital. This helps the doctor choose a line of treatment to meet the specific needs and demands of the patients' condition. The cardiac event monitors are easy to use by people of all ages.

The cardiac event monitor is clipped to the waistband of the patient. The monitor is connected to a set of wires which are attached to two electrodes worn on the patient. The EKG electrodes are small sticky patches attached to the patient's chest. The monitor can be worn for up to 30 days. Normally cardiac event monitor is used to record an abnormal heart rhythm. The patient triggers the cardiac event monitor device when he first begins to feel signs of dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness and fluttering of the heart.

Loop recorder: This is a small device that is attached to the patient's chest with electrodes. The smallest type of pre-symptom event monitor is about the size of a pager. The event monitor device constantly records heartbeats. The patient presses a button on the monitor when any symptoms occur so that a permanent recording is made of the heart rhythm. The monitor also saves some information about how the patient's heart was beating before the save button was pressed. This is called pre symptom recording. This feature is especially useful to detect the patient's condition at the time the heart problems occur.

Event recorder: This is a small monitoring device that is used only when symptoms of the heart problems occur. It does not have any electrodes attached to the chest.

Doctors can also diagnose whether the heart beats too rapidly, too slowly or irregularly during the arrhythmia by means of this event monitoring device. Doctors can also diagnose an arrhythmia by obtaining an electrocardiogram. If the doctor suspects the patient to suffer an arrhythmia and the symptoms are infrequent, then the cardiac event monitor is used by the doctor to monitor the patient over longer periods of time. Find out more on Holter monitor.


  • The patient should ensure to keep the patches within the designated areas.
  • The monitor batteries should be changed at the same time each day.
  • A diary has to be kept handy to record the events.
  • Transmitting of the recording can be done daily, weekly or whenever the patient feels symptoms that warrant immediate attention.
  • If the findings indicate that immediate medical care is required, then the doctor has to be notified right away.

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Bibliography / Reference

Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: June 17, 2019