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New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

What Can an EKG Detect?

Do not take your heart condition lightly if you are at high risk of suffering from heart disease. Factors like lifestyle, age, high blood pressure, and family history can land you with heart trouble without knowing about them. Get yourself checked by an experienced physician to prevent the risk of heart complications. Dr. Steven Reisman at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center uses EKG tests to detect the normal working of your heart and measure its electrical activity. He will monitor your heart health, look for abnormalities and provide the best care, focusing on prevention and improving your quality of life.

As your heart beats, an electrical signal travels through the heart. An EKG can show if a heart is beating at a normal rate, indicating heart health and condition. With the help of an EKG, the doctor can determine the size and position of heart chambers. An abnormal EKG is a sign of heart disease or damage.

What Is an Electrocardiogram (Ekg) Test?

Electrocardiographic test
Electrocardiographic test

EKG stands for electrocardiogram, abbreviated from the original German word electrocardiogram. Also called an ECG, it is a scan that detects and records the electrical activity of the heart. The scan takes place with the help of electrodes that are placed strategically at various spots on your limbs and chest.

The main idea behind an EKG is to measure the rate at which your heart is beating. It also checks out if the heart muscle is performing at a healthy rhythm and the beats are regular or steady. The electrical pulses transported through the heart are measured for their strength and timing.

EKG is a simple and painless procedure. It is often included as a part of regular checkups to monitor the patient’s heart health and condition. Doctors also recommend EKG before surgery to see if the patient is healthy enough to go through the treatment.

Read more: 12-lead Electrocardiogram (EKG)

What Health Conditions Can an Ekg Detect?

An electrocardiogram can identify anomalies of heart rhythm, impaired blood flow to the heart, also known as ischemia, along with many other health conditions. It also helps in diagnosing cardiovascular problems.

EKG is also recommended by doctors for people with a high risk of heart diseases or to monitor their heart disorders. They include:

EKGs are also used in the ambulance and emergency rooms to diagnose a suspected heart attack.


Arrhythmia is a problem with the rhythm or the rate of your heartbeat. In this condition, the heart beats too quickly, too slow, or with an irregular pattern when your electrical heartbeat impulses fail to fire properly.

People suffering from arrhythmia can experience a fluttering sensation in their chest. Sometimes it feels as if the heart is racing for no reason. Arrhythmia may not be dangerous, but an EKG can identify if the heart is out of rhythm which can turn into a serious issue that needs medical attention.

How Can an Ekg Detect Arrhythmia?

A normal heartbeat or rhythm is controlled by the electrical impulses that originate in the sinus node, located in the upper right-hand chamber of the heart. The sinus node begins the heartbeat by producing electrical impulses. The atrioventricular node slows down the electrical signal before it continues to the ventricles. The process is supposed to be carried out smoothly, and an EKG will determine this efficiency.

A heart with standard rhythm beats between 60 and 100 beats per minute. If the heart beats too fast, it is in tachycardia, and the resting heart rate will be more than 100 beats per minute. If the resting heart rate is less than 60 beats per minute, it is known as bradycardia. These issues require medical attention.

Heart Attack

A heart attack occurs when blood flow to the heart is suddenly blocked. The blood flow is affected due to the buildup of cholesterol, fat, and other plaque-building materials that are gathered over time and result in a heart attack. An EKG can identify if a person is having a heart attack or if they suffered one before.

Coronary Artery Disease

Also called atherosclerotic heart disease, coronary heart disease can affect the way blood flows in the heart. EKG can detect this issue. Narrowing of arteries can also be discovered.

What Happens During an EKG Test?

An EKG test is performed at a clinic, hospital, or a healthcare provider’s office. It is a simple procedure and takes a few minutes to set up and do the test.

  • During the test, a series of five to 12 leads or electrodes are placed on the chest and extremities such as arms and legs.
  • The leads have a gel-like backing that allows the machine to measure slight changes in electrical activity across the heart
  • They are attached by wires to a computer that records the heart’s electrical activity

Heart doctors monitor the electrical activity of the heart, its rate, and the regularity of the heartbeat.

Combined with blood tests and imaging techniques, EKG results help doctors determine the condition most accurately and recommend the best treatment based on their heart health.

If you are concerned about your health and want to know more about your heart performance, schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Reisman at the New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center for trusted diagnostic help. The expert doctor will determine if you are at increased risk of heart attack by uncovering abnormalities in the electrical cavity of your heart through the EKG and other diagnostic tests. He will evaluate your results and provide the best advice or treatment depending on your heart condition to prevent further damage.

Dr. Steven Reisman | Cardiologist in New York City

Dr. Steven Reisman is an internationally recognized cardiologist and heart specialist. He is a member of the American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, and a founding member of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology.

Dr. Reisman has presented original research findings for the early detection of "high risk" heart disease and severe coronary artery disease at the annual meetings of both the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. Dr. Reisman was part of a group of doctors with the Food and Drug Administration who evaluated the dipyridamole thallium testing technique before the FDA approved it.

Dr. Steven Reisman's academic appointments include Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of California and Assistant Professor at SUNY. Hospital appointments include the Director of Nuclear Cardiology at the Long Island College Hospital.

This page was published on Oct 25, 2021, modified on May 26, 2022 by Dr. Reisman (Cardiologist) of New York Cardiac Diagnostic Center

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