DIAGNOSTIC INVESTIGATIONS: ELECTROCARDIOGRAM - HOW DO YOU MONITOR THE ECG DURING NORMAL DAY-TO-DAY ACTIVITY? WHAT ARE THE USES OF EXERCISE ECG?

Q. How do you monitor the ECG during normal day-to-day activity?

A. This is done by a process known as Holter monitoring. A small box-like ECG machine has been developed. It is strapped on to the patient for a 24-hour, continuous recording during all the usual activities of the patient such as sitting, reading, walking, working, driving, sleeping, and sexual activity. The entire recording is put through a computer. Any abnormal rhythms or changes in the tracing patterns during various types of activity can then be detected and appropriate corrective action taken.

Q. What are the uses of exercise ECG?

A. In the case of angina pectoris, an ECG recording, when the patient is at rest, may be perfectly normal. Abnormal but reversible changes may appear only after sufficient exercise has been performed. Hence, exercise ECG is used in the diagnosis of angina. During the recovery phase of a heart attack, the physician may want to determine the amount of exercise the heart is able to accept without strain so that he can advise the patient suitably about his physical activity and the programme of graduated exercise. It also helps the physician to monitor the progress of the patient and to see if his exercise tolerance is satisfactorily.

*21\328\8*

Cardio & Blood