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An electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluate the heart. An EKG records the electrical activity of the heart, shows abnormal rhythms (arrhythmias or dysrhythmias), and detects heart muscle damage. An EKG may be conducted in several ways and used in combination with other tests, such as a stress or exercise test, to evaluate heart function and rhythms.