Electrocardiogram / 24hr Holter Monitor
For Appointments Call: 786-332-4106 Dade 954-893-3811 Broward
What Is an Electrocardiogram?
An electrocardiogram (e-lek-tro-KAR-de-o-gram), also called an EKG or ECG, is a simple, painless test that records the heart's electrical activity. To understand this test, it helps to understand how the heart works.
With each heartbeat, an electrical signal spreads from the top of the heart to the bottom. As it travels, the signal causes the heart to contract and pump blood. The process repeats with each new heartbeat.
The heart's electrical signals set the rhythm of the heartbeat. For more detailed information and animations, go to the Health Topics How the Heart Works article.
An EKG shows:
- How fast your heart is beating
- Whether the rhythm of your heartbeat is steady or irregular
- The strength and timing of electrical signals as they pass through each part of your heart
Doctors use EKGs to detect and study many heart problems, such as heart attacks, arrhythmias (ah-RITH-me-ahs), and heart failure. The test's results also can suggest other disorders that affect heart function.
24hr Holter Monitor
An ambulatory electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) records the electrical activity of your heart while you do your usual activities. (Ambulatory means that you are able to walk.) Ambulatory monitors are referred to by several names, including ambulatory electrocardiogram, ambulatory EKG, Holter monitoring, 24-hour EKG, or cardiac event monitoring.
Many heart problems become noticeable only during activity, such as exercise, eating, sex, stress, bowel movements, or even sleeping. A continuous 24-hour recording is more likely to detect any abnormal heartbeats that occur during these activities.
Many people have irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) from time to time. The importance of irregular heartbeats depends on the type of pattern they produce, how often they occur, how long they last, and whether they occur at the same time you have symptoms. Because arrhythmias can occur off and on, it may be hard to record an arrhythmia while you are in the doctor's office.
There are several different types of ambulatory monitors. Your doctor will choose the type that is most appropriate for you and is most likely to help diagnose your heart problem.