What causes the wrong ECG result?
An electrocardiogram, or ECG, is a simple test that doctors use to measure the electrical activity of the heart.
This helps them identify underlying heart diseases.
Sometimes non-standard ECG results are just a normal change in a person’s heart rate. In other cases, this may be due to the underlying condition of the heart or a reaction to medications that the person is taking.
Reading an ECG is a useful diagnostic tool. After the doctor has determined the underlying condition, he can offer the appropriate treatment.
What causes the wrong ECG?
An incorrect ECG means that there is something unexpected in the results of the ECG. This is not always a sign of an unhealthy heart.
For example, in 2015, researchers found that athletes involved in sports regularly had abnormal ECG readings.
Researchers indicated that most of these results were harmless and were due to the person’s adaptation to physical exercise. However, they continued to call for thorough screening to check for any other risk factors.
Causes of abnormal ECG
Irregular heart rate
The human heart usually beats at a speed of about 60-100 beats per minute. A heart that beats faster or slower than this may indicate a major problem. The doctor will want to do additional tests to find the root cause.
Irregular heart rate
Although this may vary slightly for each person, each heart maintains a constant rhythm. An ECG will help doctors see how and where the heart beats due to an irregular rhythm, but can only record abnormalities if this happens during the test.
An ECG gives doctors an idea of how hard the heart works in each specific area. An incorrect ECG result may be a sign that one area or part of the heart is larger or thicker than others.
Electrolyte minerals are important for overall health, but they also play a role in heart health and can even cause an irregular ECG.
Electrolytes conduct electricity in the body and help maintain a constant heart rate and rhythm. An imbalance in electrolyte minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium or magnesium can cause an abnormal ECG.
Medicinal side effects
Some medications may cause incorrect ECG readings. Anyone who does an ECG should discuss with the doctor any medications that he takes.
Some medications that help balance heart rate can actually cause heart rhythm disturbances in some people. Such drugs include certain beta blockers and sodium channel blockers.
If the doctor believes that the type of medication a person is taking can cause his symptoms, he can suggest alternatives and then have an extra ECG to see how the person responds to the new medication.
High blood pressure
There are other aspects of cardiovascular disease that can lead to abnormal ECG. For example, people with high blood pressure often have non-standard ECG values.