The electrocardiogram, ECG for short, describes the recording of the entire electrical activity of all heart muscle fibres. These are recorded with the help of an electrocardiograph, better known as an ECG machine, and can provide information about the state of the organ's health. The ECG is one of the most important non-invasive examination methods in cardiological diagnostics.
Before a heart contracts, it is preceded by an electrical impulse that runs internally to the other heart muscle cells. The resulting change in heart tension can be measured on the body surface and displayed over time. Resting ECGs, long-term ECGs and stress ECGs can be performed.
The development of the ECG allegedly goes back to the year 1843, when Carlo Matteucci recognized by experiments on pigeon hearts that the activity of the organ is based on electrical processes. In 1882, the physiologist August Desiré Waller first derived an ECG from his dog. In the following years, Wilhelm Einthoven and Norman Wilson continued to have a decisive influence on the development of the examination method.