What is it?
An EKG (electrocardiogram) tests the heart's electrical conduction system. It will show evidence of abnormal heart rhythm, enlargement (hypertrophy) of the heart's chambers, damage from previous heart attacks or signs of stress on the heart.
Why do I need it?
Your doctor may suggest an EKG if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, family history of heart problems, or other risk factors for heart disease. It also can be done to evaluate symptoms of chest pain, shortness of breath or unexplained weakness.
How is it done?
You will be asked to remove your shirt. Several small patches with attached wires are stuck to your chest wall and leg. The EKG machine reads the electrical activity between the different patches. The test takes just a minute or two, and the results are immediately available.