What can an electrocardiogram show?

Just had an electrocardiogram as I have a heart murmor. The camera was put on the area of my thyroid at the bottom of my throat. I asked if she was looking at my thyroid but apparently it was seeing what my aorta was doing. Can anything wrong with the thyroid be picked up if they were primarily looking at the aorta? Because as I am taking thyroxine for underactive thyroid (also Hashimotos) it might possibly affect the heart yes? Anyone that knows more than me about this area, do help me here if you can. Thanks.

12 Replies

  • Hi No, you need thyroid blood tests to start with and possibly an ultra sound of the thyroid. the bloods must be tSH, T4 and Free T3. If on Beta Blockers do not take them until after the blood test, that day.A heart murmur is a problem with the Mitral Valve ,usually , always a valve. These show on an echo which is widely done for heart.If not breathless should not be too bad. An ECG just shows the trace of the heart and how it is performing. There is a likely hood with thyroid disease to bring on an early onset of Atrial Fibrillation ( A.F),ie you would have had it any way. Ths is fairly common ,one of the less important heart problems but essential it is treated, usually drugs but there are some simple procedures if drugs not working. There is a risk of clots ,so anti coagulation is the most important thing. Diagnosis of A.F is only normally one way , as intermitent problem ,usually for many years. First measure heart rate,pulse. Measure 3 times a day, including when feel odd. chart. Do this for 2 weeks and if it is swinging this is normally AF, it can wing very high or low or both. At this stage you show a doc, GP or better cardio ( if under one) and then have a heart monitor at home, 24 hour or better 7 day. This is just all ECG`s, non stop. It is analysed then. If under a cardio , this should be one of the tests they do.All valves can be repaired ,if bad, only, large OP ,except some can be done with micro surgery.

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    Best wishes,


  • Wow Jackie, amazed at how much you know! Thanks for that, so would the ECG show up "any" signs of A.F. No I'm not breathless, just have racing heart sometimes but then have terrible anxiety anyway a lot of the time. The sound of my heart on the ECG was horrifying but then perhaps everyone hears that. Thanks again Sheila

  • Hi Sheila Necessity! ECG done once ie not monitored for a day or two or sometimes longer. will only show AF if happens to happen while actually having the ECG, as you can imagine, that rarely happens.Mine is severe, also had it many, many years, now it is pernament and so, of course, always shows, not nice! However, in the scheme of things on its own it rarely causes problems so long as you have anticoagulation ( for clots), However, it is not nice, makes you feel terrible, can have a bad headache often.Common to be worse at night, noticed ,ore then, keeps you awake.

    Just read the end of your reply. You had an Echo, that is when you hear, the lub lub of heart. That is mostly done for laves, other things too. I expect you have had an ordinary ECG. That is 6 wires, chest and feet and a machine reads it.There are also nuclear scans sometimes done. Also, of course, Angiogram commonly. That just checks the arteries and veins, mostly for clogging up. N nasty just a bit unpleasant. Wire through wrist or ankle, doctor..Often routine with cardiac problems of any type just a precaution

    If you want any more info, any time, just click on my name and send a Personal Message, if like.The worst sign is breathlessness, and how!

    best wishes,


    It does not sound too bad to me. Even years ago I used to have emergency admittances,even years ago so try not to worry. Good thing you are being investigated.

  • Hi sidney, bit confused,did you have and echocardiogram specifically for heart or a scan for the aorta to check for aorta aneurism Anyone over 65 is being screened if wanted to check to see if its not ballooning with risk of rupture if it enlarges too much.sorry to but in its just sounds it may have been that in which case it no way directly linked to thyroid issues.

  • I had it because I was found to have a murmour 5 years ago and it was just being checked. What I wondered is the camera was put directly onto my thyroid and I (in my stupid naievity) wondered if anything to do with the thyroid would be seen but no, apparently the cardiologist was just looking at the aorta. So now you've brought something else up I knew nothing about. Would the screening for the aorta aneurism (which actually my father died of) be a completely different test that I would have to ask for. The more I dive into these problems, the more I find out I dont know. Thanks for replying anyway, Sheila

  • Hi there, yes the screening is done for abdominal aortic aneurism it's a scan done in 5 mins and results given at the time.my hubby just had one,also his mother dies of it rupturing,but that said she was 84!its something being brought out nationwide,bit like the bowel screening programme, for over 65's whether or not there is family history.just as well since he apparently has the beginnings of same thing and will now be watched a little.hope this helps a bit for you.

  • oh ok so I will have to ask for a screening, think I should, my dad died at 70 and thats what I am next year!!

  • Just sent you a reply - at least I thought I did - I clicked and when I've come back to this page, its not there! Did you get it or has it disappeared into the ether?!

  • Yup got it thanks and just posted a reply (I think!)

  • I was diagnosed with a murmur, slight mitral value prolapse, as I was underactive for a long time without being diagnosed, and my body went through hell. My mother was completely undiagnosed and died of a heart attack at only 66, what a waste of a good life. I should be fine now as I'm on meds.

  • hi sandrad,do you mind me asking what medications you are now on for your heart murmur and valve problem?

  • I've to have a second echocardiogram in February (2 years since last/first one) to see if looks the same or any change, that may determine change. Cardiologist said no meds needed at moment provided I exercise and get weight to my BMI (Body Mass Index - ideal weight for height). So exercise is my prescription so to speak - he says that's what will keep me away from him! He says he is happy to wait to see me in Feb provided I don't feel breathless - if I do he says I must contact him URGENTLY. I'm pleased to say I've had no episodes of breathlessness. Hope this helps Tingles. Apologises I should have been clearer - the meds I referred to was the 'Armour Thyroid' for the hypothyroidism (which stops the heart condition deteriorating like my mothers case). I have basically got my life back since starting on the Armour.

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