When is electrocardiography (ECG) performed?

Updated: Mar 11, 2019
  • Author: Tarek Ajam, MD, MS; Chief Editor: Terrence X O'Brien, MD, MS, FACC  more...
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The electrocardiogram (ECG) has proven to be among the most useful diagnostic tests in clinical medicine. It is routinely used in the evaluation of patients to detect myocardial injury, ischemia, and the presence of prior infarction, and in the assessment of patients with electrolyte abnormalities, drug toxicities, and implanted defibrillators and pacemakers.

In addition to its usefulness in the evaluation of ischemic coronary disease, the ECG, in conjunction with ambulatory ECG monitoring, is of particular use in the diagnosis of disorders of the cardiac rhythm and in the evaluation of syncope. Other common uses of the ECG include the assessment of metabolic disorders and side effects of pharmacotherapy, as well as the evaluation of primary and secondary cardiomyopathic processes, among others. [15]

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