Echocardiogram vs. EKG – Explained By a Cardiologist

Echocardiogram vs. EKG – What Are They?

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When considering echocardiogram vs. EKG its important to have a basic understanding of both tests. Both the echocardiogram and EKG are very important and are commonly used heart tests that are instrumental in diagnosing various forms of heart disease. The echocardiogram is an ultrasound of the heart that Provide moving pictures and give information on the structure and function of the heart. The EKG is a heart tracing that mainly gives information on the rhythm of the heart. Both tests are often used in conjunction and are complimentary to each other.

Echocardiogram vs. EKG – Other Names

Echocardiogram is also known as an ultrasound scan of the heart, an echo, or sonar of the heart. EKG is also known as an ECG, a 12 lead EKG, or an electrocardiogram.

Echocardiogram vs. EKG – Both Are Considered Non-invasive

Below we talk about the differences in performing an echocardiogram vs. EKG. Both of these tests are considered non-invasive cardiac testing. Patients are not expected to feel any pain from either test. This is in contrast to invasive tests such as heart catheterization.

Echocardiogram vs. EKG – When Are They Ordered?

The EKG is the most normally ordered heart test. Basically each patient every evaluated for a heart connected issue or heart related symptoms get an EKG. The echocardiogram is also very usually used but not as common as the EKG. The EKG can also be considered a screening test that is done in almost everyone that has a history and physical. The echo is more specifically ordered when there are signs and symptoms of heart disease present.

Echocardiogram vs. EKG – How Long Do They Take?

EKG – The test itself takes about 5 minutes. Most of that is applying the leads; the tracing itself takes seconds to create only.

Echocardiogram – In most cases about 20 minutes is desired to complete the test. 5 minutes of that is likely spent in preparation and 15 minutes used to take the pictures. In some cases depending on the specific information required the test can take longer.

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