Echocardiogram Vs. EKG | What’s The Difference?

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When comparing echocardiogram vs. EKG, it’s essential to have a basic comprehension of both types of tests. Both the echocardiogram and EKG are quite crucial and are highly common heart tests that play instrumental roles in diagnosing various forms of heart disease. The echocardiogram machine does an ultrasound of the heart that provides moving pictures and information on the structure and function of the heart. The EKG is a heart tracing that provides information regarding the rhythm of the heart. Both of these are often used together and are complementary to each other. Read on to learn more about Echocardiograms versus EKGs. If you’re looking for ultrasound equipment for sale in the Miami area, call Integra Medical Systems today!


Comparing Echocardiogram And EKG


The echocardiogram is also commonly called an ultrasound scan of the heart, an echo, or sonar of the heart. EKG is also commonly called an ECG, a 12 lead EKG, or an electrocardiogram. Both the echocardiogram and the EKG are considered non-invasive, and there are differences in performing an echocardiogram with an echocardiogram machine or an EKG. Both of these types of tests are considered non-invasive cardiac testing. Patients will not feel any pain from either test, in contrast to more invasive types of tests such as heart catheterization. The EKG is the most commonly ordered heart test, and pretty much every patient who gets evaluated for a heart related issue or heart related symptoms gets an EKG. The echocardiogram is also a very common test, but it is not as commonly  used as the EKG. The EKG can also be a screening test that is done in pretty much everybody who has a history and physical. Typically when there are signs and symptoms of heart disease present, the echo is ordered. 


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So how exactly is an EKG and an Echocardiogram done? For an EKG, 10 small sticky pads on various places on the chest wall that leads from an EKG machine are attached. These leads transmit data which utilize the electrical activity of the heart to generate a tracing. Chest hair for some men need to be shaved in places to improve contact and ensure a good tracing. For an echocardiogram, patients are given a gown to wear and lie on a table specifically designed to perform the echocardiogram. Patients typically may lie on their left hand side. Ultrasound gel is usually applied to various parts of the chest wall before the ultrasound probe is placed on the chest and the pictures taken. For the EKG, the test takes about 5 minutes, of which most of it is applying the leads, since the actual tracing only takes seconds to generate. For echocardiograms, in the majority of cases around 20 minutes is needed to complete the test. Five minutes of this is usually spent in preparation and 15 minutes is used to take the pictures. In certain cases depending on the specific information that is needed, the test can take longer.


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There are many differences between what an echocardiogram machine does and what an EKG does. If you’re looking for ultrasound equipment for sale in the Miami area, call Integra Medical Systems today!