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Electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG)

What is an Electrocardiogram (ECG, EKG)?

An electrocardiogram, better known as an ECG or EKG, is a heart test that records the electrical activity of the heart. From this test, much can be learned about the heart rhythm and heart's chambers (particularly if they are enlarged). In addition to providing important information about the heart, the test is painless, takes only minutes to complete, and is relatively inexpensive. Because of these reasons, it is the most common test done during a cardiology clinic visit.

How is it done?

At the Michigan Congenital Heart Center , the test is done in a room called the ECG Lab, located within the clinic area. ECG technicians perform the test by placing sticky patches on the child's chest. Small wires connected to these patches lead to a machine that records a tracing of the heart rhythm. When the test is completed the patches are easily removed, much like small Band-Aids are removed from the skin.

Appointments are necessary only if you are not scheduled to be seen in the Pediatric Cardiology Clinic or admitted to the hospital. The doctor will review the ECG tracing and discuss the results with you and your child during the clinic visit. The doctor can answer any questions you may have about your child's ECG at that time.


2006: Information reviewed and approved by Laura Bell, RN, MSN, PNP Pediatric Cardiac Surgery and Lynda Dettling RN, BSN.


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University of Michigan Health System Cardiovascular Center
1500 E. Medical Center Dr.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
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