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Home > Medical Services > Penn Heart and Vascular > Scope of Services > Diagnostic Testing

Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG)

An electrocardiogram records the electrical activity of your heart. The ECG (also known as EKG) provides information about your heart rhythm. It can determine whether or not your heart is beating normally and detect heart disease or problems with the electrical conduction system of the heart. It records the rate and regularity of heartbeats, and can tell the size and position of the chambers of the heart. In addition, an ECG can record signs of damage to the heart and the effects of drugs or devices, such as pacemakers and ICDs. A physician's prescription is required before scheduling an ECG.

During an ECG

Commonly performed at the Hospital's neurodiagnostic laboratory, an ECG is a safe non-invasive heart test that rarely causes discomfort. While lying down, electrodes with leads (wires) are attached to your arms, legs, and chest. The places where the electrodes are attached are cleaned, and in some cases, it may be necessary to shave or clip the hair. You are required to remain still during the procedure, and you will sometimes be asked to hold your breath for short periods of time. There are no needles used and the test is painless. The ECG takes about ten minutes, but the actual recording of the heart's electrical activity only takes seconds. The electrodes easily peel off once the procedure is complete.

The Chester County HospitalView Map
701 East Marshall Street, 2nd Floor
West Chester, PA 19380
Phone: 610.738.2771
Hours: Monday-Friday, 8 am-4:30 pm

Last Updated: 7/28/2009