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Definition of «Electrocardiogram»


Electrocardiogram: A recording of the electrical activity of the heart. An electrocardiogram is a simple, non-invasive procedure. Electrodes are placed on the skin of the chest and connected in a specific order to a machine that, when turned on, measures electrical activity all overaround the heart. Output is usually in the form of a long scroll of paper displaying a printed graph of activity. Newer models output the data directly to a computer and screen, although a print-out may still be made.

To take a specific situation, the initial diagnosis of a heart attack is usually made by a combination of clinical symptoms and characteristic electrocardiogram (EKG) changes. The EKG can detect areas of muscle ischemia (muscle deprived of oxygen) and/or dead tissue in the heart.

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