Electrocardiogram (ECG)/ ECG with physical load test

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The Author: Veselības centrs 4

This examination mode is most frequently performed in patients with chest pain, history of heart diseases or suspected heart diseases. ECG is also performed in patients with suspected heart rhythm disorders, elevated blood pressure and heart failure.

ECG is informative not only for elderly patients, but also young patients, in whom heart diseases of atherosclerotic origin are comparatively less frequent, while heart defects, heart rhythm disorders and elevated blood pressure are more common.

Electrocardiogram with physical load test

This is most commonly used examination method for the initial diagnostics of coronary artery disease (CAD), as well as for determining the severity degree thereof. 

CAD is the disease that is characterised by incompatibility between heart blood supply and the requirements of the heart muscle (myocardium) for oxygen caused by organic damage to coronary arteries of the heart (atherosclerosis) and/or functional disorders (spasms, etc.) thereof. The most common forms of the disease include angina pectoris and myocardial infarction.

Clinical manifestations of CAD may manifest as chest pain after physical loads - exertional angina. Untreated exertional angina may result in myocardial infarction and even sudden death. Therefore, prompt diagnostics of heart diseases is very important!

Stress test is more sensitive and specific than ECG at rest in determining oxygen deficiency of the heart muscle (myocardium), which is called ischaemia. During the stress test, the physician registers ECG. The changes in blood pressure and heart rate are recorded periodically in accordance with the protocol depending on the load, which is measured in watts (W).

During the stress test, the physician takes the age, sex, character of complaints, risk factors and objective examination data of the patient into consideration.

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