An electrocardiogram (ECG) is an instrumental examination to monitor the heartbeat pattern and its electrical activity. The electrocardiograph, or the instrument used to perform the electrocardiogram, produces an electrocardiographic trace in which the patient’s cardiac activity is represented by waves.
Interpretation of the electrocardiographic tracing allows the physician to detect, among others, possible infarction of the myocardium (the muscle tissue of the heart), possible coronary artery distress, possible arrhythmias or abnormalities of the atrium or ventricle.
The electrocardiogram is also used to check the proper functioning of cardiac devices such as a pacemaker or implantable cardioverter defibrillator.
There are no differences in performing the electrocardiogram on children or adults, what changes in the two situations is the interpretation of the results of the electrocardiographic trace: an ECG in the normal range for a child has different characteristics than an ECG in the normal range for an adult.
The resting electrocardiogram is also performed during examinations for certificates of fitness for non-competitive during cardiology examinations.