ECG Core Curriculum is organized into seven sections, each with several chapters. The beginning chapters focus on the basic science and technical aspects of electrocardiography. The middle chapters review ECG findings for a wide range of medical conditions and cardiac arrhythmias. Finally you will learn interpretive techniques you will use every day in clinical practice. We finish up with reference materials and a practice exam.
Section I: Basic Concepts. These chapters establish our foundation. We begin with the history of electrocardiography, followed by chapters devoted to anatomy and electrophysiology. Then the focus is on the technical aspects of recording the information and how to make the measurements essential for interpreting every ECG. Next we review the concept of vectors and the reasons why the deflections on the ECG look the way they do.
Section II: Chamber Enlargement, Bundle Branch Block, and Preexcitation. The first chapter is devoted to the electrocardiographic diagnosis of both atrial and ventricular chamber enlargement. We follow then with intraventricular conduction abnormalities. We finish this section with a review of preexcitation due to atrioventricular bypass pathways.
Section III: Myocardial Ischemia, Infarction, and Pericarditis. In these chapters you will gain the skills necessary to diagnose acute myocardial injury and infarction and differentiate these findings from other medical conditions.
Section IV: The Cardiac Rhythms. You will first learn about laddergrams, a time-honored technique to diagram the cardiac rhythm. Next is a discussion of the mechanisms of arrhythmias. Subsequent chapters are devoted to mastering the gamut of cardiac rhythm disturbances, including supraventricular arrhythmias, ventricular arrhythmias, ectopic complexes, heart block, and aberrant conduction. We then discuss the special challenge posed by wide complex tachycardia. A practical approach to pacemaker electrocardiography completes this section.
Section V: Medications, Metabolic, and More. This section is devoted to miscellaneous topics, items that include the ECG effects of medications and electrolyte disturbances, as well as acquired and inherited QT syndromes.
Section VI. ECG Interpretation. Here you will learn a stepwise and structured approach to interpreting electrocardiograms. An extensive compendium of diagnostic criteria is also provided as a valuable reference.
Section VII: Final Exam. It's time to test your skills with 25 sample tracings, complete with detailed answers and analysis.