Blood Pressure Tests: Electrocardiogram

An electrocardiogram is also called an ECG or EKG. It is a graphic record of the heart's electrical activity. Healthcare providers use it to help diagnose coronary heart disease. They can also use an ECG to monitor how well heart medications are working.

How Is This Test Done?

An ECG is obtained while you are lying down. It usually takes about 5 minutes. It is a painless procedure. Here is how the test is performed.


  • The technician will clean sites on your body where electrodes will be attached. The technician may also shave these areas.
  • The technician will attach about 12 electrodes to your arms, legs, and chest.
  • A machine will record the electrical activity of your heart at rest.

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