The ECG is an important, simple and painless test of the electrical activity generated by the heart. Leads are connected (one each on the arms and legs and 6 across the chest) to give a complete electrical picture of the heart (a '12-lead ECG').

The ECG can provide information about the heart rhythm (see arrhythmia), a heart attack (old or new), thickened heart muscle (perhaps due to high blood pressure), and problems with conduction of the electrical current from one portion of the heart to another (heart block).

The tracing is of a normal 12 lead ECG. It is important to realise that an ECG plays only a part of the overall clinical picture and normal recordings can be obtained in patients with significant heart disease, or some "abnormalities" may be found to be 'false-positives' with a normal heart. 

Please note:

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information on this website is up-to-date and accurate. However, it is intended to serve as a guide only. Symptoms may vary and if you have any medical concerns you should always consult a healthcare professional.