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Electrocardiogram (EKG)

Each time your heart beats, the contractions and relaxations of the heart muscle emit electrical current.

An EKG is a medical recording of the electric impulses from the heart. Electrodes that send impulses to the EKG machine are attached to the patient's skin at various points on the body. The heart's electrical currents are recorded and displayed on a computer monitor and can be printed out on special graph paper. Qualified medical staff interpret the graphed results to determine any irregularities.

EKGs can help your doctor determine the status of your heart health. By graphing the electrical impulses of the heart, doctors and other trained medical staff are able to see the presence of any abnormalities. The recording often reveals the scars of past heart attacks and other heart damage. Although the test cannot predict future heart attacks or other heart problems, a combination of family history and additional examinations may give your doctor a good idea of what to expect.

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