Evaluation of Heart Rhythms
The electrocardiogram (ECG) is synonymous with a cardiac evaluation, just as a chest x-ray is with a pulmonary evaluation. The ECG is inexpensive, non-invasive and easy to perform. All hospitals and most offices can perform electrocardiography and because they are so ubiquitous, being able to accurately interpret an ECG is important. The goal of this chapter is to provide a basic understanding of the principles of how to “read” an ECG, why an ECG looks the way it does, and when to order an ECG. Because the readers of this book will likely have quite varied backgrounds and exposures to ECG interpretation, this chapter will begin with more basic principles of what an ECG is and how it is generated. We will then focus on understanding the ECG waveforms and basic rhythm diagnosis. Finally, we will conclude with a discussion of additional ECG tests that can be performed to assess heart rhythm disturbances.
KeywordsBrugada Syndrome Sick Sinus Syndrome Junctional Rhythm Event Monitor Ventricular Rhythm
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