12-lead ECG

A 12-lead ECG is the basic tool of trade of a cardiologist. This is the typical ECG that is performed to diagnose your heart rhythm, any abnormal rhythm disturbances, any suggestion of angina or heart muscle thickening, and other findings.

During an ECG acquisition, 10 ECG leads are connected to the surface of the person’s trunk and limbs, as shown in the photo. The leads are attached to a machine, which produces the lines on a paper. These are electrical signals arising from the heart, captured from various positions of the body to give rise to the 12-position results, hence a 12-lead ECG.

An ECG can diagnose the heart rate and rhythm, any premature heart beat, any short-circuits, heart attack, and various other findings.

Below are some of the more common heart rhythm abnormalities.

Normal ECG

ECG showing left ventricular hypertrophy

Atrial flutter

Acute anterior AMI