ECG timing: Hi How long is and ECG... - British Heart Fou...

British Heart Foundation

26,671 members17,516 posts

ECG timing

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace

Hi

How long is and ECG supposed to take?

Several sources say 45 minutes

Five minutes seems too short as only a brief snapshot taken of each posotion the transducer is placed.

Also is the radiologist supposed to record the best reading or the worst.

Appreciate any input as new to this area

Best healthy wishes

20 Replies

Are you sure you mean an ECG?

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to Gaz_chops

If you do mean an ECG, then they take a few minutes.

If you mean an Echocardiogram , then 20 mins+ in my experience.

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Gaz_chops

Yes ECG echocardiogramWith and EKG at same time

Gaz_chops profile image
Gaz_chops in reply to janeytrace

An echocardiogram is not an ECG, an ECG & EKG are the same thing.

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Gaz_chops

Oh right ok it said ECG on my notes it didnt say echocardiogram but thats what my appointment letter said bit confusing but i definitely had both, with colour doppler too. Interesting to see on the screen .

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Gaz_chops

I think the 45 minutes ive read of just applies to if contrast is used. Thanks good to know the shorter times are normal. It felt very quick but sounds like that could be a good thing.

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Gaz_chops

Yes

An ecg is where you have a series of sticky electrodes placed on strategic points on the body. You lie still and the machine takes a reading of the electrical pattern of your heart. An echocardiogram, or echo for short, is a form of ultrasound undertaken on the heart by pressing a wand against the skin of the chest and side, and I think this is actually what you mean. I’ve had a few of these, and my daughter had one last year, and they’ve usually taken between 10 and 20 minutes altogether, although neither of us had any findings to report. If there had been abnormalities, it may well have taken longer. The sonographer undertaking the scan looks at the physical structure of the heart, along with blood flow. They will look at and take stills of various structures, obtain some measurements, check the direction of blood flow in vessels and around the valves, as well as the movement of the valves themselves.

I’m not entirely sure what you mean about best and worst reading? To the best of my knowledge and understanding, the only readings they take are the physical measurements. These will have a reference range, a range of values that are considered within normal, so best or worst doesn’t matter as long as the values fall within the reference ranges. Normal will also be somewhat determined by any physical abnormalities found.

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Charlie_G

Yes ECG with doopler and the EKG sticky pads to meaure heart rate at same time

By best and worst i mean the section of the EKG reading where ut ahows the t waves, QRS etc

Charlie_G profile image
Charlie_G in reply to janeytrace

Ecg and ekg are the same thing, Doppler is the type of ultrasound that enables visualisation of blood flow, which is generally just referred to as an echo because establishing blood flow is one of the primary purposes behind having an echo. My understanding is that the use of ecg during an echo is not diagnostic, though, it’s to aid with capture and analysis of the images obtained via ultrasound. If done on it’s own in response to symptoms, e.g. in A&E, then the doctors are concerned with analysing the wave form to indicate a possible explanation for any symptoms. It’s a diagnostic test. Used alongside an echo, the purpose of the ecg is purely for tracking the cardiac cycle to aid with storing and analysing the images obtained via ultrasound. The cardiac cycle is literally from the start of one heartbeat to the start of the next, and knowing the exact point in the cycle an image (or series of images) is taken at is necessary to know if the patient’s measurements and cardiac function are within the established normal parameters. It’s for reference value, not a diagnostic one, and most if not all sonographers would be incapable of reading an ecg diagnostically in any event.

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Charlie_G

Thank you for the explanation I'm glad I asked.

An electrocardiogram takes only a few minutes whereas an echocardiogram ( scan) takes between 30 and 45 minutes.

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Trishe

I was only in for 15 minutes including the time in the waiting room. About 5 maybr 7 minutes actually been scanned

Hi if it's an echo I would say average time is about 30mins, I have found the sonographers are good at explaining things if you ask them, at first I found it pretty fascinating to see the valves opening and closing as the blood flows through the heart and and the noises it makes, I have too many to count and only on two occasions have they commented on anything they usually just send the results to the consultant and let them tell you whats happening, char

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Thanksnhs

Thanks i didnt ask anything

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Thanksnhs

Yes amazong to see

😀

It takes longer for them to set you up to do an ecg than to actually take the reading!!!

janeytrace profile image
janeytrace in reply to Gail1967

Haha yes i suppose so i just assume it was meant to trace for a while in each area but if info was available for gp all good. Its the waveform that shows a different pattern and that was been measured too but not during a segment where it went different. Probably overthinking because of family history. Just going to distract from it now.

Best healthy wishes to you and enjoy your day シ

An ECG is a tracing of your heart activity and is done by applying the electrodes to the surface of your upper body which is usually to attach 12 leads. This takes longer than the actual trace reading. Multiple tracings can be taken in a session but it is unusual for more than 2 or 3 to be done for direct comparison at the time. All readings can be recorded as they are printed out at the time for later review by the Doctor who has requested them. I don't know who told you 45 minutes but that is not how long it takes so don't worry. 5 minutes is a bit quick but that depends on how fast the electrodes are applied. It is a non invasive and not uncomfortable process and nothing to worry about having.

5-7 minutes is a very short time for an echocardiogram (not an ECG). Mine normally take 30-45 minutes. It's a bit like a pregnancy ultrasound, where they have a hand held device and push it against your chest all around your heart (and throat). The electrocardiogram (ECG) consists of having 6 or 12 leads attached to your chest (and maybe your ankle) and takes 5-7 minutes to stick them all on, get a reading, and take the leads off again.

You may also like...