If you’ve ever wondered about the origin of the abbreviation EKG, you’ve come to the right place. EKG is the popular term used to refer to the Electrocardiogram which is a heart monitoring technique which monitors the electrical signal in a patient’s heart. It was dubbed EKG, even though there’s no ‘K’ in the original word because the alternative ECG (which is still used in some settings) was too close to an already used term EEG.
But what does it do? During this non-invasive diagnostic assessment, electrode sensors are used to monitor the electrical activity of your heart. It is your heart’s electrical impulse that maintains the rhythm of your heartbeat, so the electrocardiogram test will show your physician how efficiently it is beating. However, not all EKGs look the same. Here are three alternative ways you might experience EKG technology.

Holter Monitor
A Holter Monitor is a portable EKG device. This battery-operated monitor hangs around your neck and is about the size of an iPhone. Just as during an EKG performed in your cardiologist’s office a series of electrodes are placed on your chest to monitor your heart’s activity. However, a benefit of the Holter Monitor is that it allows your cardiologist to collect data for a longer period of time as you are going through your everyday life.

Cardiac Event Monitor
Like the Holter Monitor, the Cardiac Event Monitor is a portable EKG device. But what makes it special is that it is smaller, wireless, and can be worn for up to a month. Unlike the Holter Monitor which is constantly recording for up to 48 hours, the Cardiac Event Monitor only records when you tell it to, or when it detects an abnormality.

Stress Test
You’ve likely heard of a stress test and can conjure up images of people running on a treadmill attached to monitors. But did you know that the electrocardiogram is part of that test? Unlike the previous two tests which use EKG to monitor your heart during your everyday life, the intent of the stress test is to monitor your heart while under stress. This stress can be manufactured by putting you on a treadmill, or in the case of a nuclear stress test, injecting you with a radioactive dye.

The electrocardiogram is just one of the tests in your cardiologist’s arsenal of cardiac assessments. For more information about this or any other diagnostic test, give us a call today.