ElectroCardiogram: What Is It And What It Is For?


In the human body, the heart and other organs generate a large amount of electrical signals through the chemical activity of organisms. These impulses are responsible for movement and life. Already in the last quarter of the s. XIX was found to be a body organ capable, on its own and automatically, of generating electricity. How to assess its proper functioning? For this, there are electrocardiograms, tests that control whether the heart beats at the times and modes that are normal to it according to the patient or its symptomatology.

The electrocardiogram is precisely the graphic representation of the electrical activity of the heart. This image of how it works, for better or worse, the heart is obtained from the body surface and by electrodes connected to the electrocardiograph.

This apparatus is responsible for registering, capturing, and expanding this coronary activity so that the specialist can assess whether everything is correct. This heart activity is reflected in a continuous tape, on a millimeter of paper, which symbolizes the electrical stimuli of atriums and ventricles; being very useful in health centers, clinics, and hospitals.

What Electrocardiogram Is And What It Is For?

An electrocardiogram is a non-invasive cardiology test that is used to clinically assess the conditions of the heart: rhythmic or arrhythmic beats of the organ, pumping the blood.

It can also be used even to control other body organs, such as the lungs. It is a test that is often required to assess symptoms and risks of arrhythmia, infarction, and other cardiovascular pathologies.

How An Electrocardiogram Is Done?

The electrocardiography records the very small voltages that are transmitted through the skin as a result of heart activity. These data are studied and interpreted by the cardiologist to determine the diagnosis and prescribe the appropriate treatment, according to the recorded ailment.

The signals obtained come from nine electrodes, which, through suction cups and with the help of specific patches, adhere to the patient’s skin, placed six of them on the chest region, and one more in three of the four extremities. The one placed on the right leg is taken as a reference to reduce possible external electrical interference.

The electrical impulses that occur in the heart are recorded in millimeter paper in the form of lines or curves and translate the movements of relaxation and contraction of the atrial and ventricular cavities of the patient’s heart.

The duration of the test is carried out in a short period, practically the time it takes the health personnel to place the electrodes. This is an outpatient test, so you don’t need to get hospital admission or take any specific medication to do it. However, it is advised not to give you any body cream, so that the electrodes adhere well, and the test comes out correctly.

In the case of men, it is recommended to go shaved. Otherwise, the auxiliaries will shave the area so that there is no interference and the results are conclusive for the cardiologist.

For his part, the patient should only be relaxed and breathe normally. Otherwise, the results will not be valid and therefore the repetition of the test will be required. Even in the most nervous people, calmers must be tried to avoid, as they alter the body at the chemical and electrical levels, so they can affect the results.

When To Do An Electrocardiogram?

The electrocardiogram should always be performed under medical prescription. The heart can present numerous dysfunctions in its operation. It is convenient for us to consult the specialist in the face of any abnormal symptoms that we may perceive, such as a difficult breath, or for excessive tiredness for apparent reason, etc.

The causes of having to make us an electrocardiogram may have a heart, or not heart, origin; although the most common are related to this vital organ.

If we notice severe chest pain and oppressive and intense sensation or burn, accompanied by back pain, we feel weakness, nausea or vomiting, and anxiety, they are all alarms that we may suffer a heart attack or angina. The first test to be done on the patient in this situation is the electro.

However, when it comes to arrhythmias, it is also usually referred to as an electrocardiogram. An arrhythmia occurs when our heart rate accelerates or slows down suddenly, i.e. the heart rate is irregular and with strong palpitations as beats or overturns of the motor organ.

Other Symptoms That Result In The Electro-Test

It is also common to force the test when you have been diagnosed with pericarditis, to control the inflammation of the pericardium and check if the medication prescribed for its treatment is effective for the patient and the case.

In some lung diseases that can cause embolisms, usually in the legs due to the obstruction of some blood vessels, electrocardiogram reveals dysfunction in blood circulation. Similarly, thanks to electrodes, behavioral alterations of potassium, magnesium, calcium, sodium, and other organic elements can be detected.

In an elite athlete, to show the physical condition during and after an effort, it is also common to perform electrocardiogram tests; and in people with pacemakers, to track the operation of the device. Of course, for any patient who is to be operated on, the electrocardiogram is considered one more test of the preoperative.

How To Interpret The Results?

The interpretation of an electrocardiogram must be performed by the specialist who has requested the test. After knowing the patient’s medical history, his or her age, etc., is the one who can assess whether the results obtained show abnormalities or is a normal electron. The referrals have to be analyzed as a whole, as each isolated line does not facilitate anything to give a diagnosis.

The sequences that the clinician compares are the heart rate – which determines a tachycardia or makes us suspect the severity of certain pathologies – and the analysis of the heart rhythm – which evaluates the succession of the heartbeats during the recording time (60-100 bpm are the values considered).