Diagnostic Resting ECG

What is a Diagnostic Resting ECG?

A Diagnostic Resting ECG (electrocardiogram) records the electrical activity of your heart while you are at rest. It provides information about your heart rate and rhythm, and can also show if there is enlargement of the heart, or evidence of a previous heart attack. However, it does not show whether you have asymptomatic blockages in your coronary (heart) arteries, or predict your risk of a future heart attack. The resting ECG is different from a stress or exercise ECG or cardiac imaging tests.

Why am I having a Diagnostic Resting ECG?

Your GP will refer you for this test if you have risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure, or symptoms such as palpitations or chest pain. Or you may need it if you already have heart disease.

Is ECG the same as an EKG?


I have had an ECG before. Should I bring this with me?

Yes, this will be helpful for your cardiologist to compare with the new ECG, but it is not imperative. A copy of this may be taken; remember to ensure that your original ECG is returned to you.

My GP has just done a resting ECG. Why do I need another one?

A resting ECG enables your cardiologist to perform a full, updated cardiac assessment for you, using our equipment. This can also include Advanced ECG techniques, providing an in-depth analysis of your ECG.

Will I feel anything?

The nurse may need to shave some small patches on your shoulders or chest. It can sometimes be slightly uncomfortable when the ECG stickers are removed afterwards. The nurse will also check your blood pressure.

A resting ECG is a non-invasive test.

How do I prepare for a Diagnostic Resting ECG?

It is helpful if you do not use body lotion/oil before your Resting ECG. It is also helpful if you wear clothing (on your top half) that you can remove easily. Female patients will be given a gown to wear during their resting ECG. You will also be offered a blanket, if you feel cold.

How long will it take?

It should not take any longer than 15 minutes.

Who will be doing the Diagnostic Resting ECG?

This will be done by a Cardiology Nurse.

Can I have a support person with me?


How long before I find out the results?

Your Cardiologist will discuss the results of your Resting ECG with you during the same visit.

What happens if the Resting ECG shows that there is something wrong with my heart?

The Cardiologist will discuss this with you at the time of your appointment. If the tests do show something, the different treatment options will be explained to you, and the Cardiologist will send a summary letter to your GP.

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Ascot Hospital, Level 3
90 Greenlane East
Remuera, Auckland 1051
PO Box 17264,
Greenlane, Auckland 1546

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