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Electrocardiography is the process of producing an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKGThe version with '-K-', more commonly used in American English than in [[British English, is an early-20th-century loanword from the German acronym EKG for Elektrokardiogramm (electrocardiogram), which reflects that German physicians were pioneers in the field at the time. Today AMA style and – under its stylistic influence – most American medical publications use ECG instead of EKG. The German term Elektrokardiogramm as well as the English equivalent, electrocardiogram, consist of the New Latin/international scientific vocabulary elements elektro- (cognate electro-) and kardi- (cognate 'cardi-'), the latter from Greek kardia (heart). The '-K-' version is more often retained under circumstances where there may be verbal confusion between ECG and EEG (electroencephalography) due to similar pronunciation.}}). It is a graph of voltage versus time of the electrical activity of the heart using electrodes placed on the skin. These electrodes detect the small electrical changes that are a consequence of cardiac muscle depolarization followed by repolarization during each cardiac cycle (heartbeat). Changes in the normal ECG pattern occur in numerous cardiac abnormalities, including cardiac rhythm disturbances (such as atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardia), inadequate coronary artery blood flow (such as myocardial ischemia and myocardial infarction), and electrolyte disturbances (such as hypokalemia and hyperkalemia).

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