Types of ECG


In previous, article we discussed ECG (Electrocardiogram). In this article, we will see about different types of ECG. The type of ECG monitoring depends on the frequency and severity of symptoms.

There are three types of ECG monitoring i.e. resting ECG, stress ECG, and ambulatory ECG. Ambulatory ECG is divided into 3 groups i.e. Holter monitors, event monitors, and implantable loop recorders.

Let us discuss one by one. The first one is Resting ECG.

1. Resting ECG

As the name implies, resting ECG test is done on a patient at the normal resting condition. This test will provide general information on heart conditions. The resting ECG is carried out on an inpatient (a patient who lives in hospital while under treatment.) basis and lasts only a few minutes. It is usually not eligible to discover rarely occurring symptoms.

2. Stress ECG

In this stress ECG, patient ECG is done while doing stress work like exercise. This will show whether taking exercises has any effect on your heart. The stress ECG may help to define how much exercise and stress your heart can cope with if you have recently had a heart-related disease. The stress ECG test is done on an inpatient basis usually on a treadmill or bike.

3. Ambulatory ECG

There are some heart rhythm disorders that are infrequent and occur when certain activities are carried out such as eating, walking, sleeping, sex, etc. Using an Ambulatory ECG increases the chance of capturing these problems, as they record the electrical activity of the heart over an extended period. Ambulatory ECG has divided into three groups i.e.

  1. Holter monitors
  2. Event monitors
  3. Implantable loop recorders

i). Holter ECG monitor

A Holter ECG monitor is a small device that continuously records ECG generally with 2 – 3 channels for 1 or 2 days. It is useful for patients with daily occurring cardiac problems. You can read more about Holter monitors in this article.

ii). ECG event monitor

An ECG event monitor records ECG on 2 – 3 channels for a long period of time usually from 1 week to 3 months. The important thing about this is that it does not record continuous ECG but records only ECG strips (at certain intervals), which makes extended ECG recording possible. The event ECG monitor is ideal for someone whose symptoms occur weekly or monthly.

The ECG event monitors are of two types i.e looping event monitor and post-event recorder.

a). Looping event ECG monitor

It records ECG when the patient feels the symptom and presses a button that triggers a recording both preceding and following the event.

b). Post-event ECG recorder

It records ECG only after the event. When the patient feels the symptom or going unconscious then the patient press a button that records ECG only after the event.

iii). Implantable loop recorders

This is a continuous ECG recorder. It can be implanted under the skin of the patient chest. It is kept in the patient chest for more than a year.

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