Electrocardiogram

What is an electrocardiogram and where can one be done in Tijuana?

This heart study is a non-invasive test that is carried out to obtain a record of the cardiac electrical activity. For this, electrodes are placed on the skin, which records the different electrical impulses of the heart. The electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is performed with electrodes placed at certain points in the chest wall, to obtain an electrical record of the different parts of the heart and provides us with sufficient information to make a precise diagnosis.

Grupo Cardiovascular de Tijuana

Misión de San Diego 1527, Zona Urbana Rio Tijuana, 22010 Tijuana, B.C.

How is the EKG performed?

For this test we begin by placing the patient on his back on an examination table and with the chest uncovered, then we place electrode on specific areas of the heart. Subsequently, the patient is asked to remain still for a few minutes, then the electrocardiogram tracing gets activated by the doctor. This translates the signals obtained by the electrodes, making traces on the ekg paper the recording will be interpreted by the cardiologist.

When is this test required?

There are many reasons why these tests are ordered. It is sometimes used as a routine test, or as pre-operative evaluations, to make sure a heart disorder is not present prior to undergoing a surgical intervention.

The electrocardiogram is usually performed when heart disease is suspected. The ECG detects heart rhythm alterations (arrhythmias), morphological changes in the heart (heart enlargement), as well as disorders derived from coronary artery disease or ischemic heart disease, which is one of the most common reasons for the test. Assessment of chest pain, palpitations, dizziness, etc. Sometimes it is used to assess whether a pacemaker works in a patient who has presented a loss of consciousness, on other occasions, to assess the changes that occur after having administered a certain drug to the patient.

Patient preparation prior to the test

We recommended to remove jewelry or other ornaments before performing the test, as well as to avoid exercising previously, since it could register a faster heart than normal and it could be seen as distortion when the cardiologist interprets the EKG. It is convenient, as in all diagnostic tests, to inform your doctor of the medications you are regularly using, and if they were taken prior to the test.

What should you expect?

The electrocardiogram is a friendly test, it does not hurt, nor does it produce unpleasant reactions.

Grupo Cardiovascular de Tijuana

Misión de San Diego 1527, Zona Urbana Rio Tijuana, 22010 Tijuana, B.C.

What kind of results could you get from and EKG?

Arrhythmias such as tachycardia, blockages, bradycardias, rhythm disturbances. Morphological alterations of the different parts of the heart such as enlargement of the atria and ventricles. Heart muscle defects, either congenital or acquired. Heart valve alterations. Ischemic heart disease and coronary heart disease in the form of angina or heart attacks at different stages of evolution. Myocarditis and pericarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle or the lining of the heart).

Special considerations

Other types of EKGs are required for special conditions, in the case of the stress test which is an electrocardiographic reading while exercising on a treadmill, or holter monitoring that performs an electrocardiographic study of 24 hours during the patient's daily activities.

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