What Can An Electrocardiogram Tell Me About Heart Failure?

Question: What can an electrocardiogram (ECG) tell about heart failure?

Answer: An electrocardiogram is something we always get when we are evaluating someone with any type of heart disease it forms a basis of what we understand about the heart. It shows us the heart's electrical activity. The way the heart functions is electricity initiates the beating of the heart and the chambers beat in sequence; upper chambers first lower chambers second. And we can follow how that electricity travels through that heart and how the heart is beating.

Whether the rhythm is regular, whether the rhythm is coming from the right place and we can almost diagnose heart attacks that have occurred in the past and other types of heart disease.

If there's electrical disease in the heart, often times that can decrease the efficiency of the heart's contraction we now have pacing mechanisms to try to overcome those inefficiencies that come from electrical disease in the heart.

So when we are looking at a patient with heart failure for the fist time knowing what their electrocardiogram looks like provides very important information so that we know what type of heart disease they may have and have some ideas of what tools we have to treat it.