Learn More About Electrocardiograms (EKG/ECG):

Abnormal ECG

An abnormal EKG (electrocardiogram), also known as an ECG, refers to a recording of the heart’s electrical activity that deviates from the expected or typical patterns. EKGs are used to assess the heart’s rhythm and detect various cardiac conditions. Abnormalities on an EKG can indicate a range of heart-related problems, and the specific abnormalities may vary.

Are you interested in receiving accurate electrocardiogram (‘ECG’ or ‘EKG’) readings in as few as 30 seconds that can then be sent instantly to a physician for review?

This website offers general ECG information for educational purposes only. We are not licensed medical professionals. Content should not be construed as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For personalized guidance, consult a qualified healthcare provider.

Abnormal ECG tests indicate a variety of heart conditions

An abnormal ECG/EKG reading can indicate various cardiac abnormalities or issues. EKG readings can vary, and what’s considered abnormal may depend on individual patient characteristics and clinical context.

Common Abnormal EKG Findings and What They May Indicate:

Atrial Fibrillation (AFib)

An irregular, rapid heartbeat due to abnormal electrical signals in the atria.

Atrial Flutter (Heart Flutter)

Regular but often rapid contractions of the atria, causing a sawtooth pattern on the EKG.

Ventricular Tachycardia

Rapid heart rate originating in the ventricles, which can be life-threatening.

Ventricular Fibrillation

Chaotic electrical activity in the ventricles, leading to a loss of effective contractions and requiring immediate defibrillation.

Atrioventricular Block (AV Block)

Impaired conduction between the atria and ventricles, categorized into first, second, and third-degree blocks.


An abnormally slow heart rate, often defined as less than 60 beats per minute.


An abnormally fast heart rate, typically defined as over 100 beats per minute at rest.

ST-Segment Elevation

Can indicate a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or myocardial ischemia.

ST-Segment Depression

May suggest myocardial ischemia or other cardiac conditions.

T-wave abnormalities

Inverted or flattened T-waves can be indicative of various cardiac issues.

Bundle Branch Blocks

Blockage in the electrical pathways (right bundle branch block or left bundle branch block) leading to altered ventricular depolarization.

Prolonged QT Interval

Can be associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.

Short QT Interval

Associated with an increased risk of ventricular arrhythmias.

Wolff-Parkinson-White (WPW) Syndrome

An extra electrical pathway (accessory pathway) can cause rapid heart rates and potentially life-threatening arrhythmias.

Long QT Syndrome

A genetic condition that predisposes individuals to arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death.


Inflammation of the pericardium, the lining around the heart, can cause specific EKG changes.

Left Ventricular Hypertrophy (LVH)

Increased thickness of the left ventricle’s wall, often seen in conditions like hypertension or aortic stenosis.

Right Ventricular Hypertrophy (RVH)

Increased thickness of the right ventricle’s wall, typically associated with lung diseases or pulmonary hypertension.

These are some examples of abnormal EKG findings. It’s important to note that the interpretation of EKG readings should be done by a healthcare professional who can consider the patient’s medical history, symptoms, and other diagnostic tests to make an accurate diagnosis and determine the appropriate treatment. Abnormal EKG findings may indicate a wide range of cardiac and non-cardiac conditions, so proper evaluation and clinical context are essential.

What to Do with an Abnormal ECG

If you have an abnormal EKG, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional, such as a cardiologist or primary care physician, for a proper evaluation and diagnosis. Here are some general steps that might be taken:

Discuss the results with your healthcare provider

Your healthcare provider will review the EKG results and discuss them with you. They will explain what specific abnormalities were detected and what they might indicate.

Further testing

Depending on the nature of the abnormality and your medical history, your healthcare provider may recommend additional tests such as a stress test, echocardiogram, Holter monitor, or cardiac catheterization to gather more information about your heart’s condition.

Clinical assessment

Your doctor will conduct a physical examination and take a detailed medical history to better understand your overall health and any risk factors that may be contributing to the abnormal EKG.

Treatment plan

If the abnormal EKG suggests a heart condition, your healthcare provider will develop a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. This may include lifestyle changes, medications, or even surgical interventions, depending on the underlying cause.


In some cases, if the abnormality is not severe, your doctor may recommend periodic monitoring to track changes in your heart’s electrical activity over time. The use of mobile ECG devices that patients can purchase over the counter and use at home can help regularly track heart rate activity and provide readings to physicians without having to make frequent trips to the hospital or doctor’s office.

Follow-up appointments

Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are crucial to monitor your progress and make any necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

It’s important to remember that an abnormal EKG doesn’t necessarily mean you have a serious heart condition. EKG results can be affected by various factors, including stress, medications, and other medical conditions. Your healthcare provider is the best person to interpret the results and guide you through the appropriate next steps. Always seek professional medical advice for your specific situation.

Abnormal ECG Risks If No Action Taken


Progression of Heart Disease

Many abnormal EKG findings may indicate underlying heart conditions such as coronary artery disease, arrhythmias, or heart muscle damage. Without intervention or treatment, these conditions can progress and worsen over time, potentially leading to more severe health issues.


Increased Risk of Complications

For conditions like myocardial infarction (heart attack) or unstable angina, timely intervention is crucial to minimize damage to the heart muscle. Delaying treatment can lead to more extensive heart muscle damage and increased risk of complications, such as heart failure.


Risk of Sudden Cardiac Events

Certain arrhythmias detected through an abnormal EKG can increase the risk of sudden cardiac arrest or other life-threatening events. Prompt medical attention and intervention are vital to reduce this risk.


Missed Opportunities for Prevention

An abnormal EKG can be an early sign of heart disease or cardiac issues. Addressing these issues promptly allows for more effective management and preventive measures, such as lifestyle changes and medications, to reduce the risk of heart-related events.


Reduced Quality of Life

Heart conditions that go untreated or unmanaged can lead to a reduced quality of life due to symptoms like chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and limitations in physical activity.


Unknown Underlying Conditions

An abnormal EKG can sometimes be the first indicator of a potentially serious medical issue. Delaying action may lead to missed opportunities to diagnose and treat other underlying health problems.

Psychological Stress

Ignoring an abnormal EKG result can also lead to psychological stress and anxiety, as uncertainty about one’s heart health can cause worry and fear.

It’s crucial to understand that an abnormal EKG result is a diagnostic tool and not a definitive diagnosis. A healthcare provider will use the EKG results in combination with your medical history, physical examination, and other diagnostic tests to determine the underlying cause and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. If you receive an abnormal EKG result, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional promptly, follow their guidance, and take the necessary steps to address any potential heart-related issues. Early intervention can significantly improve outcomes and reduce the risks associated with heart conditions.

Ways to Conduct EKG Tests Remotely

Telemedicine can be a valuable tool in dealing with an abnormal EKG. Telemedicine allows you to consult with a healthcare provider remotely through video calls or phone calls, which can be particularly useful in discussing and addressing concerns related to your EKG results.

Telemedicine can aid in managing an abnormal ECG in the following ways:

Remote Consultation

With telemedicine, you can have a virtual consultation with a healthcare provider, such as a cardiologist, from the comfort of your home or another convenient location. You can discuss your symptoms, medical history, and the details of your EKG results with the healthcare professional.

Review of EKG Results

You can share your EKG results electronically with the healthcare provider during the telemedicine appointment. They can review the EKG and interpret the findings, helping you understand what the abnormality means and what steps to take next. Utilizing a mobile ECG device and the telemetry app can greatly facilitate the sharing of EKG readings with medical professionals.

Symptom Assessment

You can describe any symptoms you’re experiencing, such as chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, or dizziness. The healthcare provider can use this information to assess the severity of your condition.

Guidance and Recommendations

The healthcare provider can offer guidance and recommendations based on the EKG results, your symptoms, and your medical history. They may suggest lifestyle changes, medications, or further diagnostic tests.

Emergency Referral

If the healthcare provider determines that your condition is severe and requires immediate attention, they can help arrange for emergency care or provide instructions on when to seek urgent care.

Follow-up Care

In some cases, the healthcare provider can schedule follow-up telemedicine appointments to monitor your progress and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Telemedicine Conclusion

Telemedicine can be especially useful for follow-up care and non-emergency situations where the physical presence of a patient in a clinic or hospital may not be necessary. However, for critical or life-threatening conditions, it’s important to prioritize seeking immediate in-person medical care, such as calling 911 or going to the nearest emergency room.

Before using telemedicine, it’s essential to ensure that the platform or service you’re using is secure and compliant with healthcare regulations. If you own a mobile ECG device, for example, make sure that it’s FDA-certified and produces medical-grade EKG readings.

Learn All About EKGs

Use these pages to get up to speed on the history of electrocardiograms, their purpose, and the future of telemedicine.

About EKGs

An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a non-invasive medical test that’s crucial in the field of cardiology for assessing the electrical activity of the heart. EKGs are an essential tool for diagnosing and monitoring various heart conditions, and its history, principles, and applications are subjects of great significance in the medical world.

Abnormal EKGs

An abnormal EKG (electrocardiogram), also known as an ECG, refers to a recording of the heart's electrical activity that deviates from the expected or typical patterns. EKGs are used to assess the heart's rhythm and detect various cardiac conditions. Abnormalities on an EKG can indicate a range of heart-related problems, and the specific abnormalities may vary.

EKG Tests

Electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) tests come in various forms, each serving a specific purpose in assessing the electrical activity of the heart. These tests are important for diagnosing various heart conditions and evaluating the overall health of the cardiovascular system. With recent advancements, ECG Tests can now be performed at home or a hospital.

Heart Rate Monitors

The basic components of a heart monitor include electrodes, which are placed on the skin to detect electrical signals generated by the heart, and a recording or monitoring unit that processes and displays the data. The recorded information helps healthcare providers assess the heart’s health, diagnose conditions, and tailor treatment plans accordingly.


Mobile ECG devices play a pivotal role in telemetry and burgeoning field of telemedicine. These devices allow patients to record medical-grade EKGs at home and then send to a doctor for physician review. This convenience saves time, costs and can mean the difference in detecting and treating cardiac conditions that require immediate attention.

HeartCheck Products

Receive accurate electrocardiogram (‘ECG’ or ‘EKG’) readings in as few as 30 seconds that can then be sent instantly to a physician for review. Health Canada and FDA cleared, the HeartCheck™ CardiBeat ECG monitor is a medical-grade, handheld device that’s easy to use for consumers and available for purchase over the counter.

Receive accurate electrocardiogram (‘ECG’ or ‘EKG’) readings in as few as 30 seconds that can then be sent instantly to a physician for review. Health Canada and FDA cleared medical grade device.