Ekg Considered a Diagnostic Test

Is an EKG considered a diagnostic test?

Table of contents(toc)

EKG or ECG stands for Electrocardiogram. It is electronic record in a graph paper of the electrical activity of heart.
It can be used to detect and diagnose many more heart diseases and possible future diseases.

One of the most important emergency use of ECG is to detect and diagnose heart attack or Myocardial infarction.

How far back can an EKG detect a heart attack?

EKG or ECG cannot detect heart attack before it has happened. But it sure can diagnose the conditions and diseases that can lead to heart attac kincluding hypertensive changes and more.
ECG can hep us diagnose ischemic and ischemic changes(along with many more diseases and conditions)
Basic purpose of ECG in case of heast attack is to diagnose heart attack or ischmia while it is happening or has happened so that we can take inntervention before it has completely killed the heart muscles.

How is an ecg performed on a woman?

Performing the ECG in woman is same as men.
The only difference in woman is presence of the breasts so that we may need to move the breasts slightly to the different side or slightly upp to expose the desired area and put the chest leads there. (check image)

Heart attack ECG vs normal?

Basically there can be three changes in ECG that may suggest heart attack or myocardial infarction.
They include:
  1. T wave abnormalities
  2. ST segment changes
  3. New onsset or changes in Q waves

ST elevation heart attack ecg vs normal

Please check the images for ST elevation and normal ECG.

If ecg is normal can you still have heart problems?

Yes. ECG does not always detect the heart issues. Various other modalities need to be used to complete eveluation of an organ . For heart they may include ECG, Echocardiography (echo), Holter, TreadMill test(TMT), 18 lead ECG, Coronanry angiography (CAG), MRI of Heart and many more.

How long does an ekg take to perform?

This may take 5 min - 10 mis depending on the facility, technician and the type of ECG machine used.

EKG shows previous heart attack

Yes EKG can diagnose previous heart attack. Check the below ECGs which are of previou Heart attack. 

In ECG with previous heart attack following changes can be noted :
  1. Q waves
  2. T wave changes
  3. Arrhythmias
  4. Blocks and many more
In acute setting you should be able to differentiate new and old ECG changes, compare with old ECGs if available and treat as new if not sure to save life.

ECG or EKG difference?

They are different terms used for same thing and are pronounced same in full form . They both stand for ELECTROCARDIOGRAM.

What does an ekg look like in a heart attack?

In heart attack ECG looks like in following pictures. 
  1. T wave changes
  2. ST changes
  3. Q waves

If ECG is normal, is my heart ok?

As describes above this cannot be guarabteed and should be clinically correlated.
Multiple investigation modalities should be used to diagnose and manage heart condition relalting to previous findings and clinical correlation .
But ECG or EKG is a good screenning test for heart diseases and is very good diagnostic test for heart attacks, arrhythmias, heart blocks, hypertrophy and other pathologies.


In conclusion, ECG or EKG is not a complete diagnostic test as there are many more dedicated to heart diseases but it is a very good test to start with due to its ease, cheapness, unharmfulness, and less time comsuming nature. 
Also, now a days all health care workers are taught to read the ECG and hence this will help diagnose the common disease early. 

Thank you for reading. 

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