An ECG or electrocardiogram records the electrical activity in the heart while it is at rest. It provides detailed information about the heart’s rhythm. It will find certain abnormalities and will record whether there is an enlargement of the heart due to a number of reasons. Abnormalities could be due to high blood pressure (hypertension) or a previous heart attack. Patients worried about their heart health may be put forward for ECG recording. The ECG recording Cambridge patients undergo may be carried out by Dr David Begley at one of his clinics. He holds regular clinics at Royal Papworth Hospital, Nuffield Cambridge Hospital and BMI The Sandringham Hospital.

When do you need an ECG?

Usually an ECG is not necessary if you do not have high risk factors for heart disease. If you do not have symptoms suggesting heart disease ECG recording may be a wasted exercise. It is not a useful routine examination and can actually show up minor nonspecific abnormalities that lead to further unnecessary testing and even treatment.

If you have any risk factors for an enlarged heart than an ECG is an absolute necessity. Risk factors such as high blood pressure or symptoms of heart disease then ECG recording is essential for further treatment. Symptoms of heart disease include regular chest pains, irregular heartbeats or heavy heartbeats. When you visit your GP or cardiologist they can assess whether further testing is necessary.

What Type of ECG is Necessary?

Regular ECG recording is a short 20-30-minute process. Electrodes are attached to the chest and limbs and the impulses of the heart are recorded. The test can tell whether the electrical activity of the heart is normal or not. Many patients will have an initial ECG like this before further testing.

24-hour ECG recording shows a more in-depth picture of the heart’s activity over a 24-hour period. If an abnormal rhythm is suspected this kind of test becomes necessary. It may also be a good idea if symptoms such as palpitations, fainting or intermittent dizziness are reported. Patients leave the hospital with a small portable ECG recorder which is attached to the chest via three electrodes. They should then carry out their normal daily activities to give a clear picture of their heart’s activity in a normal 24-hour period.

Patients may or may not need both types of ECG recording dependent on their individual case.

Arranging ECG Recording Cambridge

Dr David Begley can arrange ECG recording for patients local to his clinics. Attending a consultation is the first step in seeing whether an ECG is necessary and the depth of the recording which is needed. To make an appointment please contact Dr David Begley’s Personal Assistant, Lynn Thomas on any of the following: Phone: 01223 850 423 or 07368 364147 or email: