ECG Test (Electrocardiogram)

The Montefiore Hospital provides ECG tests in Brighton and Hove. An electrocardiogram or ECG measures the rhythm electrical activity of your heart. Analysis of the results can indicate any damage to the heart muscle.

The test may detect changes in heart rhythm as well as abnormalities in the signals themselves. An ECG can be used to assess if you have had a heart attack or evidence of a previous heart attack.

What's involved in having an ECG?

Electrodes are placed on your wrists, ankles and chest as you relax. The electrodes are connected to a machine recording all the electrical signals from your heart. An ECG test is completely painless and takes less than a minute to perform once the leads are in position. After the test, the electrodes are removed.

Your doctor will review the readings of the ECG machine which appear as a series of waves.

What does an ECG show?

The electrodes on the different parts of the body detect electrical impulses coming from different directions within the heart. There are normal patterns for each electrode. Various heart disorders produce abnormal patterns. The heart disorders that can be detected include:

  • Abnormal heart rhythms. If the heart rate is very fast, very slow, or irregular. There are various types of irregular heart rhythm with characteristic ECG patterns.
  • A heart attack (myocardial infarction), and if it was recent or some time ago. A heart attack causes damage to heart muscle, and heals with scar tissue. These can be detected by abnormal ECG patterns.
  • An enlarged heart which causes bigger impulses than normal.

The Montefiore Hospital also offers ECG monitors which are fitted in out-patients and then worn by the patient as they go about their daily activities as normal. The patient then returns to the hospital where a report is downloaded and analysed by a consultant. This helps to build up a greater picture of the performance of the heart and can record abnormalities and events as they occur.

To book an appointment

For further information or to book an ECG test, please contact the Montefiore Hospital on 01273 828 120 or submit an enquiry through the form to the right.

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