What is an ECG? An ECG is a paper or digital recording of the electrical signals in the heart. It is also called an electrocardiogram or an EKG. The ECG is used to determine heart rate, heart rhythm and other information regarding the heart's condition. ECGs are used to help diagnose heart arrhythmias, heart attacks, pacemaker function and heart failure.
ECG can be analyzed by studying components of the waveform. These waveform components indicate cardiac electrical activity.
The first upward of the ECG tracing is the P wave. It indicates atrial contraction.
The QRS complex begins with Q, a small downward deflection, followed by a larger upwards deflection, a peak (R); and then a downwards S wave. This QRS complex indicates ventricular depolarization and contraction.
Finally, the T wave, which is normally a smaller upwards waveform, representing ventricular re-polarization.
Basic ECG Interpretation
Our ECG Tutorial and Reference Guides provide basic lessons for ECG analysis as well as a quick reference guide for over 35 categories of cardiac conditions. The arrhythmia drills and quizzes allow you to practice ECG analysis.
ECG Tutorial: Arrhythmia Drills
Using multiple choice questions and answers, users are asked to identify arrhythmia tracings. Digital calipers are available to assist in analyzing each ECG practice strip. Feedback is provided after each response.
Arrhythmia Practice Drills
Our ECG tutorial guide provides information about many types of arrhythmias. For each ECG arrhythmia we provide multiple electrocardiogram tracings. ECG analysis is provided with a concise summary of the ECG's key features. Tracing features can be measured using our digital calipers.
ECG Tutorial - Introduction
The focus of this introductory ECG tutorial is to provide a tutorial about the main features of ECGs along with a method for analyzing ECGs. This method includes assessment of rhythm, calculating heart rate, observing P-wave forms, measurement of EKG intervals and segments and the evaluation of other relevant waves.
ECG practice exercises serve to reinforce the lesson content.