Locations across Queensland within Queensland Cardiovascular Group

Phone (07) 3016 1111

Diagnostic Tests:
Electrocardiogram (12 Lead) - ECG

electrocardiogram (ecg) icon

What is an Electrocardiogram (ECG)?

An Electrocardiogram (ECG) test is a painless, non-invasive way to measure the electrical signals of the heart by using a set of 12 adhesive electrodes on the skin.

The skin electrodes detect the electrical activity that flows through the heart with each heartbeat.

The ECG can be used in diagnosis of a range of cardiac conditions.

Click here to learn about our other cardiac diagnostic tests

ECG or EKG? The abbreviations "ECG" and "EKG" are the same test.
It is more common in the US and parts of Europe to use EKG, based on the German spelling of the test: elektrokardiogramm.

How is the test performed?

The ECG electrodes need to be placed on bare skin at the 12 specific locations around your chest, and on wrists and ankles. They are a single-use item with a sticky adhesive. For some male patients, a small portion of chest hair may need to be shaved. You may be provided with a front-opening gown to enable the placement of the electrodes.

After the electrodes are in place, you will need to lie still for a short period while the ECG is recorded.

electrocardiogram electrodes on patient

How do I Prepare?

There is no specific personal preparation required for an ECG.

Electrocardiogram (ECG) Results

The results of the test are a recording of 12 different waves of electrical activity either printed or stored digitally. The cardiologist will review the 12 ECG waveforms, assessing their shape, rhythm and rate. A report will be created by the cardiologist and provided along with the recording to your referring doctor.

Learn about our Other Cardiac Diagnostic Tests

electrocardiogram (ecg) icon
transthoracic echocardiogram
a clock and a drawing of a human body.
Holter Monitor
cardiac event monitor
Event Monitor
implanted cardiac monitor
Implanted Cardiac Monitor
transoesophageal echocardiography
Transoesophageal Echocardiogram (TOE)
exercise stress test
Exercise Stress Test
ct coronary angiogram
CT Coronary Angiogram (CTCA)
calcium score test
CTCA Calcium Score
dobutamine stress echo
Dobutamine Stress Echo
exercise stress echocardiography
Exercise Stress Echocardiography
24 hour blood pressure monitor
24 Hour Blood Pressure Monitor