DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Heart disease. Distorted electrocardiogram (ECG) traces, representing the irregular heartbeat of a diseased heart in atrial fibrillation. This disorder produces a chaotic, rapid heartbeat. An ECG measures the pumping of the heart's chambers using 12 electrodes placed on the exterior of the body. The heartbeat is recorded as a series of electrical waves (red), one from each electrode. If parts of the heart are functioning abnormally, the ECG reveals which areas are affected and the nature of the condition.
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