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Exercise ECG


ECG, normal
Electrocardiogram ( ECG ) records the electrical impulses that are sent through the heart. The impulses can be detect / measure outside the heart, for example. the arms, the legs, the chest wall. In connection with the taking of ECG electrodes attached therefore the arms, feet and chest wall. If the purpose of taking an ECG was only studying the electrical rhythm, it had been enough to measure only one location. However, by the measurement at several places, doctors at the damage to the heart muscle identify where the damage is located.

An exercise ECG is used primarily to acquire knowledge about the existence of signs of coronary artery disease in you. That is, if the blood vessels are so narrow that the supply of oxygen that comes with the blood becomes too small during physical exertion. The two main coronary diseases, angina pectoris and myocardial infarction.

ECG in coronary artery disease
If you have angina, you will usually have chest pain at rest. Although blood flow in the narrow coronary artery is reduced, it is still sufficient for the heart is getting enough oxygen when you exert yourself (see illustration of angina ). During exercise, however, blood flow be too bad. Therefore, ECG taken during exertion in order to be able to confirm or deny whether you have angina (see video of load ECG ).

When an area of ​​the heart muscle has a poor blood supply, it changes on ECG. It appears in the part of EKG'et termed ST segment. Oxygen deprivation in an area of ​​the heart muscle will appear as a subscript ST segment. By investigating which leads ST-sinking occurs in, one can say where the problem sits about and perhaps also the coronary artery is narrow.

How is the survey?
Exercise ECG is a test where you are exposed to increased physical load during ECG monitoring. It is almost always because you are cycling on a stationary bicycle. During cycling recorded EKG'et your whole time and measuring blood pressure several times.

The ride starts at very low load. As the load increases by approx. 4-6 minutes. The test continues until either you are so tired that you can not anymore, until you observe special ones or you say you've had enough.

Is it required special preparation?
No, the study does not require any special preparation. Since you are going to ride and effortless bare-chested, it might make sense to bring a tracksuit.

What to do?
That said, what is primarily concentrates on is to look for changes in the ECG ST segment as a sign of coronary artery disease. However, such changes are not clear. This means that the result of the survey is not 100% reliable.

Firstly, it is assumed that the test only captures 60% of those with coronary artery disease (test sensitivity). In the second 10% of those without coronary artery disease have an abnormal ECG (test specificity). This means that labor EKG'et is abnormal in patients with low likelihood of coronary artery disease, it is often an expression of a so-called false positive findings. You need not have coronary artery disease although labor EKG'et say it. Among patients with a high probability of coronary artery disease, an abnormal exercise ECG in most cases be a correct result.

Under the strain of you will investigators also consider other things as exercise capacity, heart capacity - what is your maximum heart rate, blood pressure potential changes and how quickly your heart rate drops after completion of the test. These observations are also important when investigators to draw their conclusions.

Is it dangerous to take an exercise ECG
No, for most people this is an innocent investigation. But very occasionally happens that a patient with a severe underlying heart disease, can get triggered a heart attack under load. Therefore, those who carry out such studies, always prepared to deal with such unexpected events. Doctor is often present or easy to summon if a problem occurs.

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