ECG is a device used to record on graph paper the electrical activity of the heart. The picture is drawn by a computer from information supplied by the electrodes.

Your doctor uses the ECG to:

  • Assess your heart rhythm
  • Diagnose poor blood flow to the heart muscle (ischemia)
  • Diagnose a heart attack
  • Diagnose abnormalities of your heart, such as heart chamber enlargement and abnormal electrical conduction

To prepare

  • Avoid oily or greasy skin creams and lotions the day of the test - they interfere with the electrode-skin contact
  • Avoid full-length hosiery, as electrodes need to be placed directly on the legs
  • Wear a shirt that can be easily removed to place the leads on the chest

What to expect

During a resting ECG, a technician will attach ten electrodes with adhesive pads to the skin of your chest, arms and legs. Men may have chest hair shaved to allow a better connection. You will lie flat while the computer creates a picture, on graph paper, of the electrical impulses traveling through your heart.

It takes about 10 minutes to attach the electrodes and complete the test, but the actual recording takes only a few seconds.

Your ECG patterns will be kept on file for comparison with future ECG recordings.

If you have questions, ask your doctor.

​​

Have a Question?

Visit our FAQs page for answers to common queries.

Get in Touch

Visit our Contact Us page to get in touch.

Find a Doctor

Search for specialized doctors at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.