Anybody know how to read an ECG?

Anybody know how to read an ECG?

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  • 2 Post By Diogenes
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This is a discussion on Anybody know how to read an ECG? within the Health and Fitness forums, part of the Topics of Interest category; I had to go to the ER today with some heart issues. He said everything is mostly fine, but that ...

  1. #1

    Anybody know how to read an ECG?

    I had to go to the ER today with some heart issues. He said everything is mostly fine, but that the ECG doesn't look "normal" and he referred me to another doctor. I asked, but all he was able to say is that my heart seems healthy and strong, but that the ECG returned an "Abnormal ECG" status and so he's required to refer me to someone specialized in that. I have been go googling trying to find out what the heck this thing means, but what the result itself says is

    Sinus bradycardia with sinus arrhythmia
    Right bundle branch block
    Abnormal ECG

    Vent. Rate 59bpm
    PR Interval 138ms
    QRS duration 140ms
    QT/QTc 406/401ms
    P-R-T axes 20 81 61

    Image of results below. Covered some info that looked like it needed to be covered lol
     




    Thanks in advance to anybody who might help!!



  2. #2

    The cardiologist you're going to see is probably going to prescribe you a doppler ecocardiogram and a stress-ecg in order to find out what that complete RBBB is all about.
    You see, sinus bradycardia and sinus arrhythmia can be perfectly normal if you're young and you workout frequently. Right bund branch block can be physiological too but your QRS complex is a little too long so he's going to have to inquire on that.

  3. #3

    Quote Originally Posted by Diogenes View Post
    The cardiologist you're going to see is probably going to prescribe you a doppler ecocardiogram and a stress-ecg in order to find out what that complete RBBB is all about.
    You see, sinus bradycardia and sinus arrhythmia can be perfectly normal if you're young and you workout frequently. Right bund branch block can be physiological too but your QRS complex is a little too long so he's going to have to inquire on that.
    Could you please explain what exactly the QRS complex is? What would be a normal one and what are common causes for it to be longer than normal? If I understand correctly, what I have is a nerve impulse issue, yes? Not something wrong with the heart itself?

    The doctor at the ER wasn't too helpful and referred me to someone else.

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  5. #4

    l hate to say ''don't get too hung up on it'' but that's just how it can be with these tests.

    Surprised they even gave you a printout, when l've had this kind of work done they acted like l was a burden simply by asking questions, but l understand that it's complicated and that l likely wouldn't understand their explanation anyway.

    Same with my 'abnormal' PAP results, at least for the last 3 years. They are abnormal but after colposcopy, determined to be in the safe range of 'abnormal'. l walk around feeling like l have slowly growing tumors but w/e
    Death Persuades thanked this post.

  6. #5

    Quote Originally Posted by Diligent Procrastinator View Post
    Could you please explain what exactly the QRS complex is?


    This is a good diagram to show you visually the QRS on an ECG. The QRS is simply the depolarization of your ventricular muscles. Basically it shows the current that is coming to activate your muscles just a moment before your muscles contract (the contraction can't be shown on an ECG because it's a mechanical, rather than electrical, event). It's preceded by a p wave, which shows the depolarization of your atrial musculature, and followed by a t wave, which represents the repolarization of your ventricular muscle, which is to say the event needed in order for those muscles to gain the ability to depolarize again (kinda like when you have to exhale before you can inhale again).

    What would be a normal one and what are common causes for it to be longer than normal?
    A normal one should be around 100 ms. The underlying cause is a problem in the conduction of impulses to your right ventricle (that's what right bundle branch block means). This causes the QRS complex to be longer than usual and to have a particular aspect in certain leads (the leads are the different perspectives of the heart's electrical activity: I, II, III, V1...etc). If it's from 100 to 120 ms long, it means that it's a incomplete RBBB, if it's longer than 120 ms then it's a complete RBBB. The first type of RBBB is relatively common and it's physiological, the second type (yours) however is less common and, although it can be physiological among athletes, it warrants other exams.

    If I understand correctly, what I have is a nerve impulse issue, yes? Not something wrong with the heart itself?
    The nerve impulse issue is considered part of the heart. Like if you had a problem with your television, even though what you care about are the LEDs, the electrical circuits are still a part of the TV.
    Attached Images
    Death Persuades thanked this post.

  7. #6

    Quote Originally Posted by Diligent Procrastinator View Post
    I have been go googling trying to find out what the heck this thing means,
    I would suggest you stop googling as you will find that RBBB is sometimes found in all sort of wonderful conditions and it will couse you no end of worry. On the whole it's often a completely benign finding. If you don't mind me asking how old are you? Incidence of RBBB increases with age but when found in younger adults it almost always turns out not to be associated with any underlying condition and doesn't require treatment.

    It's definitely worth having it checked out by the cardiologist but don't worry to much about it in advance.
    Death Persuades and Lady O.W. Bro thanked this post.

  8. #7

    Quote Originally Posted by Diogenes View Post


    This is a good diagram to show you visually the QRS on an ECG. The QRS is simply the depolarization of your ventricular muscles. Basically it shows the current that is coming to activate your muscles just a moment before your muscles contract (the contraction can't be shown on an ECG because it's a mechanical, rather than electrical, event). It's preceded by a p wave, which shows the depolarization of your atrial musculature, and followed by a t wave, which represents the repolarization of your ventricular muscle, which is to say the event needed in order for those muscles to gain the ability to depolarize again (kinda like when you have to exhale before you can inhale again).



    A normal one should be around 100 ms. The underlying cause is a problem in the conduction of impulses to your right ventricle (that's what right bundle branch block means). This causes the QRS complex to be longer than usual and to have a particular aspect in certain leads (the leads are the different perspectives of the heart's electrical activity: I, II, III, V1...etc). If it's from 100 to 120 ms long, it means that it's a incomplete RBBB, if it's longer than 120 ms then it's a complete RBBB. The first type of RBBB is relatively common and it's physiological, the second type (yours) however is less common and, although it can be physiological among athletes, it warrants other exams.



    The nerve impulse issue is considered part of the heart. Like if you had a problem with your television, even though what you care about are the LEDs, the electrical circuits are still a part of the TV.
    1 million thanks! :3

    Quote Originally Posted by belis View Post
    I would suggest you stop googling as you will find that RBBB is sometimes found in all sort of wonderful conditions and it will couse you no end of worry. On the whole it's often a completely benign finding. If you don't mind me asking how old are you? Incidence of RBBB increases with age but when found in younger adults it almost always turns out not to be associated with any underlying condition and doesn't require treatment.

    It's definitely worth having it checked out by the cardiologist but don't worry to much about it in advance.
    I'm 22 and non-athlete... I'll try to not worry too much and just see what the next doctor says :)
    Diogenes thanked this post.

  9. #8

    Quote Originally Posted by Diligent Procrastinator View Post
    I'll try to not worry too much and just see what the next doctor says :)
    That's literally the best thing you can do.

  10. #9

    Hi there,

    Basically, you do not need someone who can graphically decipher the ECG chart you have, since the computer has already announced all the results, and I assure you there is nothing hidden in the graphical representation of it.

    Sinus bradycardia with sinus arrhythmia - bradycardia means slowed pulse, arryhthmia means an irregular rhythm
    Right bundle branch block - the heart nodes sends impulses to the whole heart and makes it squeeze (pump), the right bundle branch is not receiving these impulses
    Abnormal ECG - just means it is a deviation from expected results in a healthy, standard heart

    Vent. Rate 59bpm - ventricular heart rate of 59bpm. you learned in high school science that there are four chambers, the ventricles are the lower two, the squeezing (pumping) happens here. expected heart rate for a healthy, standard adult is 60-120bpm. bpm is how many times it pumps/squeezes every minute to deliver blood.
    PR Interval 138ms. expected range 120-200ms.
    QRS duration 140ms. expected less than 120ms.
    QT/QTc 406/401ms. expected 420ms.
    P-R-T axes 20 81 61. this part I do not understand, sorry.

    what the numbers for the interval mean are the same as what was described above. the qrs complex has already been explained by someone else.


     

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