A normal ECG usually excludes major problems. However, if someone is suffering from intermittent palpitations, it suggests that there’s an intermittent heart rhythm disorder that may not be picked up on an ECG when the patient feels perfectly well. In these situations, we would recommend a 24 hour ECG recording whereby an ECG electrode is attached to the patient for 24 hours and the patient is given a diary to keep and record precisely the time during which he or she suffers palpitation.
We then go back and analyse the ECG at the time of the palpitation to try and identify a heart rhythm disorder. In many situations, these very brief palpitations don’t usually amount to anything much but in some very rare cases of course, they are electrical disturbances that can be cured with electrophysiological studies.