The electrocardiogram and echocardiography are non-invasive, painless tests to examine the function of the heart. “Non-invasive” means that no incision/cut has been made or a device has been inserted into the body. Depending on the detected changes/abnormalities, the doctor may advise the patient to: Pacemaker Implantation†
These tests are usually requested by the doctor and done by a specialist or the doctor himself. The results obtained are further evaluated to determine the treatment plan. These procedures require no prior preparation and pose no risk to the patient.
Let us reveal the differences between the two techniques in this post:
An EKG is also known as an EKG, a 12-lead EKG, or an electrocardiogram; it is a simple, non-invasive and commonly used diagnostic test to detect abnormalities in heart rate and rhythm. An impulse is generated when the heart beats, recorded on the specific tracing paper of the electrocardiogram.
The printed lines indicate pulse, rhythm consistency, heart tissue problems, and heart muscle wall thickness. You would be told to remove all jewelry, cosmetics, belts, and all metals you wear when undergoing an electrocardiogram (ECG). With the lines or stickers on your chest, arms and legs, lie on your back.
An echocardiogram, also called an ultrasound or sonar of the heart or ECHO, is a form of cardiac ultrasound. It is a more advanced, non-invasive medical diagnostic test to diagnose the structure and function problems of the heart. High-frequency sound waves are sent to the organ and ‘echo’ back, allowing the specialist to see the heart and its structure in real time.
The heart specialist doctors can look inside the heart to see how the heart valves are doing or if there are anatomical problems. In addition, echocardiography can accurately determine the size and shape of the heart. It can detect previous heart problems, infections, blood clots and intracardiac pressure. The examination is performed by a cardiac sonographer or sonographer.
When undergoing an echocardiogram, you will be asked to lie on your left side and raise your left arm to your head. The heart sonographer applies gel to your chest and uses an ultrasound machine to take pictures. A picture of your heart rate is displayed on the monitor.
Why do specialists tell patients to do ECHO or EKG?
EKG is recommended in any of the following cases:
- Arrhythmia (abnormal heart rhythm)
- coronary heart disease
- History of a heart attack
- The patient has a planned heart surgery
ECHO is recommended in any of the following cases:
- Presence of a heart murmur
- Presence of valvular heart disease such as stenosis, belching
- To detect heart defects in the unborn fetus
Different types of EKGs
- Holter monitor: A portable EKG monitors the heart’s electrical activity for one to two days, 24 hours a day. Your doctor may recommend Holter Monitoring for irregular heart rhythms, palpitations, or insufficient blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Event Monitor: If the patient has intermittent symptoms in any way, the doctor may advise him to use an event monitor. When the patient presses a button, it records and stores the heart’s electrical activity for a few minutes. The patient may need to wear it for several weeks or even months to confirm a diagnosis.
- Signal Mean Electrocardiogram: This test determines whether the patient is at high risk of developing a disease known as arrhythmia, which can lead to cardiac arrest. The test is performed in the same way as a regular EKG, but it analyzes the risk using advanced formulas.
Different types of ECHO
- Transthoracic Echocardiography the most common type of echocardiography is a transthoracic ultrasound. It is painless and non-invasive. A device called a transducer is placed on your chest. The gadget delivers specific sound waves, known as ultrasound, through your chest wall to your heart. Ultrasound waves are inaudible to the human ear. As the ultrasound waves bounce off the structures of your heart, the ultrasound machine turns them into images on a screen.
- Fetal Echocardiography is used to examine the heart of a developing baby. A doctor may offer this test to screen a newborn for heart problems. A fetal echocardiogram is often done between 18 and 22 weeks of pregnancy. The transducer is moved around the pregnant woman’s stomach during this test.
- Doppler Echocardiography is used to control blood flow in the heart valves and blood vessels.
- Stress echocardiography determines how well your heart functions under stress or during activity.
- Transesophageal Echocardiography is another way to perform echocardiography to assess the structure and functioning of the heart by inserting a thin probe through the esophagus (food pipe)
Electrocardiography and echocardiography are useful diagnostic tools for a broad spectrum of heart conditions. The EKG monitors the electrical activity of the heart, while echocardiography tells about the mechanical activity of the heart. Echo provides a wealth of information about the anatomy and function of the heart tissue and its valves. An EKG takes less than ten minutes to make. However, echocardiography can take up to 20-45 minutes depending on the heart disease. On the other hand, both tests are completely safe, painless and simple.
However, before opting for these tests, you can contact HexaHealth to find the best one ‘cardiologists near me’ so that you are treated only by the experts.