View Full Version : Ecg and what it can show.

12-08-11, 18:57
Hi,ive been having chest pain/tightness for 2 weeks now,ive had 5/6 ecgs and somes bloods done all ok but the ecg thing is bugging me,everyone seems to have a different say on what it shows,i want to know do you have to have had or having a heart attack before it shows any abnormalities? or can it show if the heart isnt working due to a blockage or another problem,the resting ecg takes a minute or so and it worries me that its missed something serious.

12-08-11, 19:01
I will PM RLR and ask him to answer this. He is a very busy man though so it may not be immediate.

12-08-11, 19:28
I am going to say something that you may not want to hear but I think you need to understand it.

If you get a blockage in an artery to the heart then even if you had an ECG the day before it would not necessarily pick it up because the blockage causes the heart attack. So there is no way of knowing really if you are going to have a heart attack without having further tests like an angiogram possibly to check that the arteries are clear.

Other tests could be an echocardiogram as well.

So the answer to your question I would say is that No, an ECG cannot necessarily pick up all heart problems.

If I am wrong on this then RLR will tell me.

12-08-11, 19:34
I found this for you Sandy...


Give them a call they are fantastic. I have spoken to them before.

12-08-11, 20:02
Ok,yikes your right i didnt want to know that but i thought that an ecg was not enough,ive looked at the site you posted and they are closed, only open mon-fri,dont know what id say to them, im really worried about my heart as the pain is still there and tightness,it comes and goes..last ecg was last night at AE.

12-08-11, 20:19
You can't keep going to A&E Sandy - don't they say something to you about the amount of times you have been in?

It is also serving no purpose as you don't believe what they tell you anyway.

Why don't you ask them all these questions and concerns when you are in A&E?

Ring the BHF on Monday and have a chat with them, and tell them how you feel and ask the questions you want answers to. They won't mind and they are very friendly.

13-08-11, 08:51
I asked last week would a ecg showed a blockage and they said yes but the only way to be sure was to have an angiogram so that to me didnt make sence..yes but...so what is it? Yes im going to AE too much but i get scared when the pains/tighness get really bad plus NHS 24 phoned and ambulance last week when i didnt ask for one...im still havig the same pains ect and im scared a fatal heart attack is whats going to happen, cant believe i wrote that but thats how i feel.

13-08-11, 13:31
Hi Sandy
My husband has had an heart attack 2years ago, while i am no expert the BHF are really good to talk too.....also have had blood tests for cholestrel etc......also go and speak to your GP and they may put your mind at ease...

13-08-11, 13:58
Hi im booked in to have my cholestrel checked on the 29th,ive had a few ecgs lately but it still doesnt tell me if theres a problem,my gps all blame anxiety so my hands are tied they wont do anything as they dont take me seriously,i hope your husband is ok now.x

13-08-11, 19:17
an ecg can show if you have ever had a heart attack or if you have an inherited form of heart arrythmia or atrial fibrillation etc etc

In A&E they usually do an ecg and a blood test and the blood test is definite if you have had or are having a heart attack, the blood test will be positive upto 5 days after a heart attack.

HOw old are you???

I get alot of chest pain from the muscles between my ribs, they get easily inflamed from doing slightly different movements, most chest pain is muscular.

13-08-11, 20:11
Hi im 41,but my father had his first heart attack in his 40's and a fatal one at 51 my mother also has angina.

anx mum
13-08-11, 20:39
u ok hun?

13-08-11, 23:39
Hi Sandy
Yes my husband is okay now....i think it is anxiety for you at the moment, personally i think you are so worried about dying from an heart attack that you are in a vicious cycle....there is a blood test that they give you in hosp when you are having a ecg, but that is given when they find a problem with the reading of the ecg..so i based and this is the experience with Rob, if your ecg is normal then they will not investigate any further.
I think it is anxiety :hugs:
I also have the genes for having an heart attack early, so i try to look after my heart!!!

14-08-11, 15:03
They did bloods dont know all they done done one was to see if there was damage to the heart,it came back ok but that was over 2 weeks ago now,im still have tightness and feel like my throat/neck is closing in,cant go back to A&E again but im scared.

05-09-11, 16:46
Hi Sandy,

In response to your concerns, please take a few moments and explain in detail what induced the original ECG test. In other words, I'd like you to tell me in your own words what you were experiencing that led you to seek evaluation by your doctor or the A&E.

It's very important for you to understand and recognize the common pattern being expressed here. Countless patients who are aware of their family history begin some unavoidable countdown to their own demise based upon circumstances associated with the medical history of family members. Family history exists purely as a risk factor among many and does not reveal any type of foreboding consequence with respect to the prospect of heart disease. The second critical point here is that there are countless variations and incidental findings on the ECG which are entirely benign and do not support the presence of any type of underlying pathology at all. Additionally, I'm not certain at this point what the ECG in question actually revealed in your instance, but if it relates to the computer's diagnostic considerations as a result of pre-programmed data then I'm here to tell you that such information plays no actual role in the actual determination or assessment by your physician or specialist. The computer has no diagnostic ability whatsoever. It merely associates patterns in the ECG to pre-programmed data stored in memory, but has no rationale whatsoever in determining whether an actual relationship exists.

I also want to express to you that it's not what we see on the ECG that is so highly critical in making the determination about whether a problem exists, but rather what is not present. Do you understand? When we evaluate any patient using an ECG, we are looking for the presence of characteristics that are universally present in all patients who are suffering a cardiac event or where pathology is present that creates imminent need for intervention to preclude such an event. If those characteristics are not present, then a problem in that regard does not exist. It doesn't mean that the test has somehow overlooked the problem. The difficulty is that you have established a pure reliance upon irrational fears and a gut feeling that something terrible is wrong with your heart. You have to at least pause and ask whether these feelings are accurate and whether it is more realistic that all of your tests and physician evaluations are faulty.

So let's see if we can get to the source of your concerns by having you explain the original problem which led you to seek medical evaluation in this regard and what specifics of the test results have you so worried. It's also critical for you to realize that simply because the medical community suggests anxiety to be contributory, doesn't mean that they are not taking you seriously. Anxiety can indeed produce physical symptoms in a very broad range and context and its effects cause more than 25% of all patients experiencing its effects to seek evaluation by their doctor or emergency department with the belief that something physical is wrong with them. In other words, the presence of physical symptoms does not share a direct association to the presence of physical disease. This is a presumption by many people and although a very natural conclusion, is inaccurate.

I'll look forward to your response.

Best regards,

Rutheford Rane, MD (ret.)

09-09-11, 02:20
Okay, I've made the effort to check in on the site to determine if a dialogue has been posted. I'll be glad to try and assist you, but participation will be required in order to do so. If you wish to contact me by private message instead, feel free to do so.

Best regards,

Rutheford Rane, MD (ret.)

09-09-11, 11:36
I will PM Sandy and let her know about this reply RLR