Echocardiogram and EKGDelray Beach, FL
An echocardiogram and EKG, or electrocardiogram, are both useful diagnostic testing measures that our cardiologist may use. These tools are often used to ensure a healthy heart or to help confirm a diagnosis of a heart condition.
While they are often confused with one another, an echocardiogram and EKG operate differently and reveal unique information about the heart and its ability to function.
Echocardiogram and EKG: Is There a Difference?
To the patient, an echocardiogram and EKG can seem very similar. Both tools evaluate the heart, and the names sound alike. An EKG is a commonly utilized testing procedure performed by cardiologists. It measures the electrical efficiency of the heart to ensure a healthy heartbeat and to diagnose any abnormalities. An echocardiogram is not utilized as much as an EKG. It is a slightly more advanced test to perform. An echocardiogram uses ultrasound waves to create a visual image of the heart. Specialists then examine the images to diagnose a wide variety of heart complications.
Why is an EKG Used?
Cardiologists often recommend an EKG because it is a powerful way to identify basic problems. Almost everyone who visits a cardiac care facility eventually receives an EKG. Unlike other tests and scans, an EKG is not intense or time-consuming. It is non-invasive and can be completed in less than ten minutes.
An EKG procedure begins with the patient lying down on their back on a flat surface. A series of electrodes are then placed on the chest and body. The EKG machine then gathers information about the electrical activity of the heart. A cardiologist or other specialist will then interpret the data.
An EKG is the best way for cardiac care professionals to effectively and efficiently rule out any possible heart health concerns. In the event a concern does present itself in the results, a cardiologist may suggest further testing. This can include a variety of scans such as an echocardiogram.
Why is an Echocardiogram Used?
An echocardiogram is utilized less often than an EKG, although it is often used along with an EKG to confirm a diagnosis. While an echocardiogram is almost always used in the event there is a concern with the EKG results, it is often standard procedure to also use an echocardiogram to confirm a healthy EKG result as well.
The procedure for an echocardiogram is very similar to that of an EKG. However, instead of lying flat on your back, you lay on your side during an echocardiogram. An ultrasound gel is then placed on the chest, and what is known as a transducer is waved over the heart to produce an image of the heart.
Echocardiograms help to diagnose a variety of heart-related issues, including the development of blood clots, the efficiency of blood flow and whether a heart attack has occurred.
Why Use an Echocardiogram and EKG Together?
An echocardiogram and EKG are often used together to gather a full understanding of the patient's heart health, which allows for an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment plan to be administered. In almost every instance, the doctor will use an EKG before an echocardiogram. This gives an understanding as to the blood flow and activity inside the heart. An echocardiogram is then performed to help confirm the results of the EKG or to find new information. If the doctor sees something worrisome on the EKG, the echocardiogram will reveal various issues that went unseen. These can include anything related to the size and shape of the heart, structural issues, and problems with blood flow.
Who Needs an Echocardiogram and EKG?
An echocardiogram and EKG are needed when the patient has previously experienced symptoms of a heart condition. There are many symptoms of a heart condition, with the most common being shortness of breath, chest pain, dizziness, and nausea.
While some people may ignore simple chest pain, those with a history of heart problems need to see a doctor when symptoms arise. The doctor will use an echocardiogram and EKG to identify the cause of the symptoms and prevent more serious harm. If you are otherwise healthy, the doctor may call for an echocardiogram and EKG to establish a baseline of heart health. With this, they can ensure you have a healthy heart or recommend ways to eliminate concerning results.
Schedule an Appointment With Us
It is always best to identify concerns before they cause complications. If you or a loved one has experienced any symptoms of heart disease or a heart condition, please schedule an appointment with our cardiology office. With an echocardiogram and EKG, we can help diagnose the root cause of your heart complication and recommend the best course of action.
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