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What Are the Risks of an Electrocardiogram?

An electrocardiogram (EKG) has no serious risks. It's a harmless, painless test that detects the heart's electrical activity. EKGs don't give off electrical charges, such as shocks.

You may develop a mild rash where the electrodes (soft patches) were attached. This rash often goes away without treatment.

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Electrocardiogram Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that explore whether a medical strategy, treatment, or device is safe and effective for humans. To find clinical trials that are currently underway for Electrocardiogram, visit

October 01, 2010 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.