Bovis ISSN 2398-2993

Echocardiogram (ECG)

Synonym(s): Electrocardiogram

Contributor(s): Louise Cox-O’Shea , Gayle Hallowell

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Introduction

  • An electrocardiogram (ECG) is a recording of the changes in the electrical potential difference of the heart, which occur during depolarization and repolarization of the myocardial cells and are plotted against time.
  • The body itself is a conduction system therefore this activity can be monitored from electrodes placed on the surface.

Uses

  • Documentation and analysis of cardiac arrhythmias.
  • Monitoring, eg heart rate and rhythm during general anesthesia or drug therapy (rarely).

Advantages

  • Non-invasive.
  • Relatively easy to perform.
  • Can permanently document dysrhythmias that may also be difficult to definitively diagnose on auscultation alone.
  • Can be used for long-term heart rate and rhythm recording to diagnose intermittent dysrhythmia in the investigation of collapse (rarely performed in cattle).
  • Can be used throughout anaesthesia to monitor cardiac function.

Disadvantages

  • Many potential sources of artefacts, e.g:
    • Electrical interference, e.g. poor electrode contact, improper grounding, other electrical equipment, fluorescent lighting, patient in contact with damp or metal surface.
    • Patient movement, e.g. muscle tremor, shivering, breathing, moving.
    • Interference from holder.
  • There is no useful information on cardiac chamber size from measurement of the height and duration of the components of large animal ECG in contrast to companion animal species.

Requirements

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Preparation

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Procedure

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed Papers

 


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