Heart attack ECG. Gloved hands holding an ECG (electrocardiograph) trace of a heart attack (myocardial infarction). Healthy ECG traces are seen on the monitor in the background. ECGs monitor the electrical impulses that control the contraction of the heart muscle. During a heart attack the heart beats irregularly, creating an uneven ECG pattern on the paper trace. The heart muscle is normally supplied with blood by coronary arteries. Blockage of one of these arteries by a clot or narrowing of the artery walls (atherosclerosis) starves the heart muscle of blood and is a typical cause of a heart attack.
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