What Does an Abnormal EKG Look Like

Electrocardiogram-Monitor

An electrocardiogram or EKG for short is a method of measuring electrical activity within the heart. The test is non-invasive and helps physicians and cardiovascular consultants to measure the heart’s performance and if there are any irregularities within a patient’s heart. 

An abnormal EKG can be an indication of many things, such as a signal that a patient’s health is at risk from something as severe as a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or a heart arrhythmia. However, an abnormal EKG can also be the normal variation of a heart’s rhythm, which does not affect a patient’s health. 

How Does an EKG Work

An EKG machine be a hospital grade 12 lead elaborate device that has 12 flexible wires that are attached to sticky electrodes, or it can be a small portable 1 lead device. The electrodes are placed on specific areas from the body, such as the arms, legs and around the heart. The electrodes are designed to measure the electrical impulses of the body.

The EKG machine doesn’t have the ability to generate electricity, it serves as a way to conduct and measure electrical activity within the body and specifically the heart. A normally functioning heart conducts electricity from the right atrium to the left atrium. The electrical current then proceeds to the atrioventricular (AV) node, signaling the heart’s ventricles to contract. The electrical signals are then directed to an area called the bundle of his, which is divided into fibers, providing current to the left and right ventricles. 

An EKG is designed to measure any disruptions of electrical current within the heart, which can have a detrimental effect on the heart’s ability to perform efficiently. 

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ekg in hands photo

What an Abnormal EKG Means

An EKG is used to measure several aspects of the heart and its functions. The results can be an indication of several health issues, such as: 

  • Abnormal heart shape or size: irregularities with the heart’s shape and size such as the heart’s walls being larger than others can be picked up by an abnormal EKG. In this instance, it can be an indication that the heart is working harder than usual to pump blood around the body. 
  • Heart attack or ischemia: When a patient endures a heart attack, the restricted blood flow within the heart can cause the tissue to lose oxygen and die. The dying tissue will not conduct electricity, causing an abnormal EKG. 
  • Abnormal heart rate: a healthy adult’s heart rate or BPM should be between 60 – 100 beats per minute. An abnormal EKG can help to distinguish whether the heart is beating too slowly or way too fast. If the BPM is outside the range for a healthy resting heart rate, it can be indicative that there’s a problem with the heart and blood flow of the patient. 
  • Heart rhythm abnormalities: A healthy heart usually beats in a particular rhythm or sequence. An EKG can help to distinguish if the heart is beating outside of its usual pattern, which may indicate a heart problem. If the heart is skipping beats, it will show up as an abnormal EKG. 
  • Side effects of medication: certain medications have been known to have an adverse effect on the body, impacting the heart’s rhythm and bpm. For example, medications such as beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers and sodium channel blockers can have a detrimental effect on the heart’s rhythm. 
man with chest pain

Seeking Medical Help

If you’re experiencing problems with your heart, tightness in the chest area or shortness of breath, it’s important to seek help from a qualified physician. Several symptoms may indicate that you require an EKG, so it’s important to look out for: 

  • Difficulty breathing and shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations or the feeling of your heart beating out of rhythm
  • Racing heart combined with sweating profusely 
  • Tightness in the chest area 
  • The sudden feeling of fatigue with weakness
  • Nausea and the feeling that you may pass out 

It’s important to not waste any time if you experience any of the above symptoms. Contact your physician or private home nurse immediately to get yourself booked in for an EKG.

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FAQ’s

What an abnormal EKG indicates?

EKGs measure the way that electricity is running inside your heart. When an EKG is abnormal, it can indicate several possibilities. For example, abnormal heart shape or size can show up in an abnormal EKG. They can also reveal previous heart attacks and ischemic events. Abnormal EKGs can also pick up on abnormal heart rates, as well as heart rhythm abnormalities. Both of these can be indicators of problems with the heart or blood flow. The negative side effects of some medications on the heart will also show up on an abnormal EKG.

Which is the best ekg machine to buy online?

An EKG machine can be a significant investment for many patients. Having your own EKG machine to keep track of your heart in real time is extremely convenient. The right EKG machine will improve the quality of the care you receive. The SonoHealth EKGraph is a portable EKG machine for monitoring your heart on the go. It allows you to take wireless smart EKGs from anywhere, at any time. It’s a cost-effective solution for cardiac patients of all kinds.

Which things should I care for not getting abnormal ekg graph?

There are several markers for what an abnormal EKG looks like. An EKG uses sensors on your body to detect the electric impulses causing your heart to beat. The machine translates those impulses into a visual chart or graph. Ideally, you want a trained professional to read your EKG. What they are looking for are discrepancies or irregularities in the recorded waves. Your EKG graph should show a constant distribution of peaks and valleys. Irregular distances or depths between waves can indicate issues like arrhythmias or prior heart attacks.

0 thoughts on “What Does an Abnormal EKG Look Like

    • Lisa says:

      Hi! I have 10 EKG’S telling me low voltage. 2 say septum infarct. AV block 1. Abnormal ECG. These EKG’S were done from 2020-2023. 2 Cardiologists say nothing is wrong. Can 10 tests saying the same things all be wrong? I want an angiogram so I know for sure

      • Carolina Melgar says:

        Hello Lisa, how are You? I understand your concern. Is it possible that the EKG reports that you have were made by the device? And not by a physician? If so, please bear in mind that many times these devices can inform abnormalities that are not accurate.
        This is because some sutil variations in the waves are noticed by the monitor as pathologic… When in reality, they’re not.
        Please feel free to contact me by email.

  1. Dr. Carolina Melgar says:

    Hello Sonia , I’m very happy to hear that you’re CtHard exam is normal . I would need to know what is the name of the other exam you’re referring to. Is it an Echocardiogram or an electrocardiogram (EKG)? If you would you kindly give me this information, I know I can help you.

  2. Lisa Monegato says:

    Hi! I have 10 EKG’S telling me low voltage. 2 say septum infarct. AV block 1. Abnormal ECG. These EKG’S were done from 2020-2023. 2 Cardiologists say nothing is wrong. Can 10 tests saying the same things all be wrong? I want an angiogram so I know for sure

  3. Carolina Melgar says:

    Hello Lisa, how are You? I understand your concern. Is it possible that the EKG reports that you have were made by the device? And not by a physician? If so, please bear in mind that many times these devices can inform abnormalities that are not accurate.
    This is because some sutil variations in the waves are noticed by the monitor as pathologic… When in reality, they’re not.
    Please feel free to contact me by email.

  4. Mary Reedy says:

    I had EKG test and it came back with Moderate T-wave consider lateral ischemia. my primary Dr. will not sign off for my cervical neck surgery. Is this something serious?

  5. Dr. Carolina Melgar says:

    Hello Mary, first of all, I’m very sorry you need neck surgery. Before any surgery, an EKG is required in order to be sure that the patient can be subjected to the procedure. But the EKG is not the only piece of information that we must consider… a thorough physical examination and a complete history of his/hers medical problems will also be neccesary to sign off on any procedure. I’m sure your Doctor is considering other factors, and is not basing his decision only based on the EKG report.

    • Stephanie says:

      I had an EKG that said I had abnormal ST non-specific and abnormal ECG. Wha5 could this mean? I put off having a hysterectomy until I see my cardiologist. Up until now, I have never been under a cardiologist’s care, but I have a strong unfavorable family cardiac history. I find it curious even with this abnormal EKG, my primary doctor gave he4 blessing for me to undergo surgery.

  6. Dr Carolina Melgar says:

    Hello Stephanie
    I totally understand your situation…
    I would love to see your EKG if it’s possible (my personal mail is carolinamelgar@gmail.com)
    Sometimes EKG’s are informed that way, and it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a heart problem. And that’s probably why your primary doctor didn’t think it was necessary to suspend the surgery
    In Cardiology we allways say “the patient is more than his/hers EKG” this means that we allways have to consider their blood pressure, their personal and family heart dissease history, the symptoms that they could be having…and many other factors.
    Feel free to contact me at my personal mail.

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