Can You Detect Blocked Arteries From an ECG?
Cardiovascular problems are scary; simply not knowing enough about the health of your heart can lead to major medical problems later in life. Electrocardiography, the practice of measuring electrical signals to diagnose potential problems with the heart, gives medical staff a non-invasive way of reviewing the hearts’ activity. An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) refers to the actual test. While often used for many medical procedures, an ECG holds great potential for diagnosing cardiovascular problems.
How Does Electrocardiography Work?
During the test, a series of five to 12 leads are placed on the chest and extremities. The leads have a gel-like backing that allows the machine to measure slight changes in electrical activity across the heart. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an ECG measures the electrical activity of the heart, rate, and regularity of the heartbeat.
An ECG Can Recognize the Signs of Blocked Arteries.
Since the test identifies anomalies of heart rhythm, impaired blood flow to the heart, otherwise known as ischemia, says WebMD, can also be identified. The electrical signals may be fainter or diverge from expected patterns. Additional issues detected by an ECG include signs of a heart attack, thickened heart muscle, signs of a previous heart attack, long-term damage from an electrolyte imbalance, cholesterol, or high blood pressure, problems with the protective covering of the heart, the pericardial sac, or malfunctioning electrical nodes, reports MedicineNet.com.
Unfortunately, the accuracy of diagnosing blocked arteries further from the heart when using an ECG decrease, so your cardiologist may recommend an ultrasound, which is a non-invasive test, like a carotid ultrasound, to check for blockages in the extremities or neck. Even if the test does not show slight variations, your cardiologist may recommend an ultrasound to rule out potential blockages of the arteries furthest from the heart.
Take Advantage of Non-Invasive Testing to Maintain Your Heart Health Now.
Healthy coronary arteries are key to a healthy body, and blockages in arteries further from the heart could lead to stroke and other major health problems. Since the test does not require downtime and can be completed in as little as five minutes, it is the easiest way to keep an eye out for blocked arteries. Of course, your cardiologist may also consider performing an ultrasound of arteries in the extremities and neck to gain a complete view of the health of your cardiovascular system.
If you have a personal or family history of heart or cardiovascular health problems, you need to visit Premier Heart & Vein Care. Even those without a history of heart problems can benefit from having their heart’s function checked with these easy, non-invasive tests. Book your appointment online, or call the office at 1-805-979-4777 today.