If you are experiencing a medical emergency please dial 911 immediately
An electrocardiogram (EKG, ECG) is a test that measures the electrical signals that control heart rhythm. The test measures how electrical impulses move through the heart muscle as it contracts and relaxes.
The electrocardiogram translates the heart's electrical activity into line tracings on paper. The spikes and dips in the line tracings are called waves.
Last Revised: March 7, 2012
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & George Philippides, MD - Cardiology
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