Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)

An electrocardiogram is a painless, noninvasive way to help diagnose many common heart problems in people of all ages. Your doctor may use an electrocardiogram to determine or detect:
•    Abnormal heart rhythm (arrhythmias)
•    If blocked or narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease) are causing chest pain or a heart attack
•    Whether you have had a previous heart attack
•    How well certain heart disease treatments, such as a pacemaker, are working
You may need an ECG if you have any of the following signs and symptoms:
•    Chest pain
•    Dizziness, lightheadedness or confusion
•    Heart palpitations
•    Rapid pulse
•    Shortness of breath
•    Weakness, fatigue or a decline in ability to exercise
The American Heart Association doesn't recommend using electrocardiograms to assess adults at low risk who don't have symptoms. But if you have a family history of heart disease, your doctor may suggest an electrocardiogram as a screening test, even if you have no symptoms.

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