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Reasons for Test
- Diagnose heart attacks and rhythm problems
- Offer clues about other heart conditions and conditions not primarily related to the heart
- Detect conditions that alter the body’s balance of electrolytes, such as potassium and magnesium
- Detect other problems, such as overdoses of certain drugs
- Chest discomfort or pain
- Shortness of breath
- Nausea or the feeling that you have to vomit
- History of fainting
What to Expect
Prior to Test
- Have a physical exam
- Be asked about your medical history
- Have your chest shaved if needed
Description of Test
How Long Will It Take?
Will It Hurt?
Call Your Doctor
American Heart Association http://www.heart.org
Heart Rhythm Society http://www.hrsonline.org
Canadian Cardiovascular Society http://www.ccs.ca
Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada http://www.heartandstroke.ca
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG). American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Electrocardiogram-ECG-or-EKG%5FUCM%5F309050%5FArticle.jsp . Updated November 26, 2012. Accessed May 20, 2013.
Noninvasive tests and procedures. American Heart Association website. Available at: http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Non-Invasive-Tests-and-Procedures%5FUCM%5F303930%5FArticle.jsp . Updated April 15, 2013. Accessed May 20, 2013.
What is an electrocardiogram? National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute website. Available at: http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/ekg/ . Updated October 1, 2010. Accessed May 20, 2013.
- Reviewer: Michael J. Fucci, DO; Brian Randall, MD
- Review Date: 05/2013
- Update Date: 03/18/2013