Heart & Vascular Health | Rhythm Disorders | Tests and Treatments
EKG line

What is an EKG? (Video)

An instant heart snapshot

EKG is short for electrocardiogram, and it’s the most common heart test. The EKG provides an immediate snapshot of what’s going on in the heart. An EKG helps doctors find out if the heart is beating too quickly or slowly, or whether the heart is under stress from not enough blood flow. In this whiteboard session, Cleveland Clinic’s Umesh N. Khot, MD, draws out the details.

Tags: abnormal heart beat, arrhythmia, diagnostic test, heart, heart health, understanding heart arteries whiteboards, whiteboard sessions
Get the latest information from the No. 1-ranked heart program in the United States.

We welcome your comments. However, we cannot provide a medical opinion without an in-person consultation. To learn about Cleveland Clinic services available to you, please fill out our WebMail form.
  • Janet Mann

    I felt this was very well stated so the nonmedical people can understand!

  • Carol Ann Turley

    Thank you for giving us the lay mans terms of an EKG. Understood it a lot better.

  • Amy

    Great video, makes more sense now, I have a chronic illness. My heart rate will change from 32 to 160 beats per minute, the lines very rarely look like THAT though LOL. My heart rate has averaged 130 for over couple of months now. Does that affect your health long term?

  • Nancy

    Thanks for this! I go to my heart doctor every 4 months and have an EKG done, now I can read the graph!