Indications for Performing an Electrocardiogram
Probably few diagnostic tests have been as over-utilized as the electrocardiogram (ECG). It is often assumed that the ECG, perhaps as the modern “high-tech” equivalent of chicken entrails, enables the high priests of medicine to foretell the future of the patient. This nearly magical quality ascribed to the ECG should not be ignored, as it may create disease where none is present, reassure falsely, or even be a healing force. It has been demonstrated that patients in emergency rooms with noncardiac chest pain recover more rapidly if an ECG is done.6 However, it must be remembered that the resting ECG has little value in predicting the risk of subsequent development of cardiac disease in the individual patient, particularly the development of events related to coronary artery disease.
KeywordsIschemia Cardiomyopathy Myocarditis Pericarditis
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