An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) measures the electrical activity of your heart. Small electrical sensors, called electrodes, are placed on your skin to sense the heart’s electrical activity. These electrical signals are turned into a graph that can give your doctor an idea of whether or not your heart is beating normally.

How You Benefit

An EKG can help your doctor diagnose heart attacks, arrhythmias and other heart conditions, detect conditions that alter the body’s balance of electrolytes (e.g., potassium and magnesium) or identify other problems like medication overdoses.

What to Expect

Learn more about electrocardiograms, including what to expect, at our online Health Library.