The heart is a muscular pump made up of four chambers . The two upper chambers are called atria. The two lower chambers are called ventricles. A natural electrical system causes the heart muscle to contract. This pumps blood through the heart to the lungs and the rest of the body.
An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is a test that checks for problems with the electrical activity of the heart. An EKG shows the heart’s electrical activity as line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the tracings are called waves.
An EKG is done to:
- Check the heart’s electrical activity
- Find the cause of unexplained chest pain or pressure
- Find the cause of symptoms of heart disease. Symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting and rapid heartbeats.
- Find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick
- Check the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, and a family history of early heart disease.
Holter Monitoring measures and tape records your heart’s activity (ECG) continuously for 24 to 48 hours or longer depending on the type of monitoring used. The device is the size of a small camera. It has wires with silver dollar-sized electrodes that attach to your skin