Search Health Information   Print This Page Print    Email to a Friend Email
Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

Electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG)

An electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) is a test that measures the electrical signals that control heart rhythm. The test measures how electrical impulses move through the heart muscle as it contracts and relaxes.

During an electrocardiogram, small pads (electrodes) are attached to the skin on the chest, arms, and legs. The electrodes are also connected to a machine that translates the electrical activity into line tracings on paper. These tracings are often analyzed by the machine and then carefully reviewed by a doctor for abnormalities.

Last Revised: March 7, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & George Philippides, MD - Cardiology

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.




465 Congress Street Suite 600 | Portland, Maine 04101-3537 | (207) 775-7001