Electrocardiogram (ECG)

This test uses an electrocardiogram machine to evaluate the electrical activity of the heart at rest and with activity.

  • It is important for the evaluation of cardiac arrhythmias
  • It guides therapy for patients with a suspected heart attack
  • It helps detect metabolic disturbances
  • It allows for the detection of conduction abnormalities
  • It is used as a screening tool for coronary artery disease

The electrocardiogram does not assess the function of the heart (see Echocardiogram)

Holter Monitor

In this test, the Electrocardiogram (ECG) is continuously monitored for 24 to 48 hours. The signals are recorded on a special recorder which you will wear. This prolonged monitoring records transient rhythm or ECG abnormalities. This test is especially useful if you are experiencing palpitations, dizziness or fainting spells. It can also help in assessing response to medications.

For this test, surface electrodes will be placed on the upper chest. The electrodes will be connected to a recorder, the size of a small cassette player, which will be strapped around the waist. The monitor is worn continuously for 24 to 48 hours as requested by your physician.

You will be asked to keep a diary to record all activities and any symptoms with the exact time of their occurrence.

Arrhythmia Monitor

This monitor is ordered by a physician to determine if a heart rhythm disturbance is responsible for a particular symptom you may be feeling. This test is also referred to as an External Loop Recorder.

The device is worn continuously for up to 2 weeks. You will be asked to push a button on the device when you feel the unusual symptom in question. The device then stores an ECG (the rhythm of your heart) for typically 4-10 minutes, including the previous 3-9 minutes after the activation button is pressed. This allows the event to be captured even though symptoms have passed. The stored ECG can be sent to our recording center by a standard phone line for interpretation by one of our cardiologists.

Preparations For Testing

There is no need for fasting or any other special preparation.

Take all your prescribed medications as usual and record them in the diary provided.

Wear loose fitting clothing when coming to the clinic.

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