An Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a simple painless noninvasive test offered at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center in Manhattan. An ECG records the rhythm and electrical activity of the heart. The cardiologist close by you, Dr. Steven Reisman, may recommend an ECG for patients who may be at risk of heart disease because there is a family history of heart disease, or because they smoke, are overweight, or have diabetes, high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Additionally, a primary doctor may recommend an ECG if a patient is experiencing symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or fast or irregular heartbeats (palpitations). ECGs are often performed to monitor the health of patients who have been diagnosed with heart problems, to help assess artificial cardiac pacemakers or to monitor the effects of certain medications on the heart.
During the ECG test electrodes will be attached to your arms, legs and chest. The electrodes (sticky patches applied with a gel) will connect to some wires to help detect and conduct the electrical currents of your heart. This important test normally only takes a few minutes.
The cardiologist will look for a consistent, even heart rhythm and a heart rate between 50 and 100 beats a minute.
The NYC Cardiologist, Dr. Steven Reisman, may use an ECG to detect:
- Heart rhythm
- Heart rate
- Congenital heart defects involving the conducting (electrical) system
- Find the cause of unexplained chest pain, such as from a heart attack, inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (pericarditis), or angina
- Irregularities in your heart rhythm (arrhythmia)
- Heart defects
- Enlargement of the heart
- Problems with your heart’s valves
- Blocked or narrowed arteries in your heart (coronary artery disease)
- A heart attack, in emergency situations
- A previous heart attack
- Inadequate blood and oxygen supply to the heart.
- Assess the heart’s electrical activity for any abnormalities
- Assess the cause of symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, fainting, or rapid, irregular heartbeats (palpitations)
- Find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick (hypertrophied)
- Heart inflammation – pericarditis or myocarditis
- Assess the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, or a family history of early heart disease
How do I prepare for an Electrocardiogram (ECG) stress test?
There is no special preparation required for an ECG. However, wearing clothing that gives easy access to the chest is helpful. You should come as you are and eat or drink as you normally do.
What happens after this cardiac test?
The ECG recording will be submitted to your nearby cardiology location. Dr. Steven Reisman, who is a specially-trained doctor in reading these recordings will interpret the recording and will then provide you & your physician with a written report of his findings.
The results of your ECG will determine your treatment, if any. Treatment depends on the diagnosed condition but may include, for example:
- Arrhythmias – medication or surgery (such as installing an artificial pacemaker)
- Coronary artery disease or heart attack – medications including beta-blockers, quitting cigarettes, dietary changes and coronary artery bypass surgery
- High blood pressure – dietary changes, regular exercise and medications.
If you have any questions for the best in class NYC cardiologist or would like to schedule a consultation or appointment please feel free to contact Dr. Steven Reisman of the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center and indicate which Manhattan office (Upper East Side, Cardiology in Midtown Manhattan, or Wall Street / Financial District) you would like to see the cardiologist for a cardiac consultation.