An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a recording of the electrical activity of the heart.
A 12-lead ECG captures the heart rhythm at a single moment in time, a longer recording can be made using an Ambulatory ECG, described below.
The electrocardiogram (ECG) is a simple investigation performed by attaching stickers and leads to your chest and limbs.
It can diagnose cardiac conditions, including:
- abnormal heart rhythms
- abnormal electrical conduction
- previous heart attacks
- underlying heart muscle problems (cardiomyopathy).
Whilst a single ECG can diagnose heart conditions many findings are transient and therefore only detected if an ECG is done at the correct time.
An Ambulatory ECG is a device that monitors the heart rhythm for between 1 and 7 days and can be worn under normal clothing.
There are various devices available and your cardiologist will recommend a different device depending on your underlying symptoms.