May 17, 2017

What Is An ECG?

The electrocardiogram (ECG) is the recording of the electrical activity generated during and after activation of the various parts of the heart. It is detected by electrodes attached to the skin.

The ECG provides information on:

* The heart rate or cardiac rhythm.
* Position of the heart inside the body.
* The thickness of the heart muscle or dilatation of heart cavities.
* Origin and propagation of the electrical activity and its possible aberrations.
* Cardiac rhythm disorders due to congenital anomalies of the heart.
* Injuries due to insufficient blood supply (ischemia, infarction ...).

* Malfunction of the heart due to electrolyte disturbances or drugs.  

The Dutch physiologist Willem Einthoven was one of the pioneers of electrocardiography and developer of the first useful string galvonometer. He labelled the various parts of the electrocardiogram using P, Q, R, S and T in a classic article published in 1903. Professor Einthoven received the Nobel prize for medicine in 1924. 

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