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An electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) is one of the simplest and fastest tests to assess the heart. It measures and interprets the electrical activity of your child's heart.
During an EKG, staff at the Heart Institute at UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh will:
An EKG tracing consists of spikes and valleys, each of which measures a different part of your child’s heartbeat. Changes in an EKG from the normal tracing can mean one or more heart problems.
When the doctor studies your child's EKG, he or she looks at the size and length of each part of the EKG tracing. Variations in size and length of the parts of the tracing may be significant.
The tracing for each lead of a 12-lead EKG will look different, but will have the same basic parts as described above.
Each lead of the 12-lead "looks" at a unique part of the heart. Variations in a lead may mean there's a problem with that part of your child's heart.
Many health conditions can cause changes in the EKG pattern, such as:
Besides assessing the health conditions above, there are many other reasons why your child might need an EKG.
Your child's doctor may perform an EKG to:
Depending on the results of the EKG, doctors may order other tests or procedures to gather further diagnostic information.
To make an appointment or learn more about EKG testing, contact the Heart Institute at UPMC Children's Hospital at 412-692-5540.
View our electrocardiogram (EKG) patient procedure sheet.
Children's Hospital's main campus is located in the Lawrenceville neighborhood. Our main hospital address is:
UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh
One Children’s Hospital Way
4401 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
In addition to the main hospital, Children's has many convenient locations in other neighborhoods throughout the greater Pittsburgh region.
With myCHP, you can request appointments, review test results, and more.
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Interested in giving to Children's Hospital? Support the hospital by making a donation online, joining our Heroes in Healing monthly donor program, or visiting our site to learn about the other ways you can give back.