Electrocardiogram (ECG)

In the Cardiology department an electrocardiogram (ECG) is usually the first test carried out. The ECG gives the doctor a lot of information about the electrical activity of your heart muscle. This test also shows other abnormalities affecting the heart muscle, such as thickening, lack of oxygen and presence or absence of scars from a previous heart attack.

Before the test

  • No special preparation is needed.
  • If you take medications, these do not need to be stopped.
  • Men with a lot of body hair will have small areas of the chest shaved to optimise the contact between the electrodes and the skin.

The test

  1. The test is completely painless, and there are no risks involved.
  2. Having removed your clothing down to the waist and with bare arms and legs, you will be lying on the examination table in a relaxed position.
  3. A number of electrodes on your skin (four on your arms and legs and six on your chest) are used to map the electrical currents in your heart muscle. The test takes a few minutes.

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