Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties

181 Doctors Online
Doctor Image
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

I will be looking into your question and guiding you through the process. Please write your question below.

How reliable is ECG in detecting heart problems?

How reliable is ECG in detecting heart problems?
Wed, 16 Dec 2009
Report Abuse
  User's Response
's  Response
The ECG is a very good study but it has many limitations. It is very reliable at detecting problems that interrupt or change the electrical energy paths through your heart. The heart has two major systems though - the pumbing and the electricity. Sometimes one systems affects the other but sometimes not, too. There are plenty of true heart attacks, for instance, that demonstrate no or very little change on the ECG. As well there are plenty of benign conditions that change the electricity (from "normal") and turn out to be nothing more than a congenital malformation in the way a person's heart works. Finally ECG's are a moment in time - they are very poor at predicting what might happen in the future. In short, just because you had a normal or abnormal ECG, it may or may not mean anything and it certainly doesn't tell you what might happen tomorrow. It needs to be assessed in context of other markers or symptoms.
Disclaimer: These answers are for your information only and not intended to replace your relationship with your treating physician.
This is a short, free answer. For a more detailed, immediate answer, try our premium service [Sample answer]
Share on
 

Related questions you may be interested in

doctor1 MD

hi sir, i am 29 old male,i think i have anexity problems, i always feel that i have some problem with my heart.2 month back i took an ECG nd every body come normal .this was my 5 th ECG in 2 years with normal results.please tell me can i really on my ecg and how freuently i should take ecg herefter Thanks vasanth

doctor1 MD

i had an ECG done which was normal , however doctor based on examination suspects heart failure problem as he said he heared S3 pulse and requested more tests . my question is can there be heart failure without being detected in the ECG . age 49 , hypertension patient .

doctor1 MD

Hi, I am an 27year old female. I have been suffering with irregular heart beats, to the extend where it often feels asif my heart is skipping every second beat. I have been to the Doctor and had an ECG , but everytime I get tested, I get told that there is no problem with my heart. What could this be? I am so lost and would seriously just like to know what this is and how to get rid of it? Could you help?