The Electrocardiogram and Echocardiography are non-invasive, painless examinations to examine the heart’s functioning. “Non-invasive” signifies neither incision/cut has been given nor any device has been inserted in the body. Depending on the changes/abnormalities detected, the Doctor might advise the patient for Pacemaker Implantation.
These tests are typically requested by the Doctor and done by a specialist or the Doctor himself. The results obtained are further evaluated to decide the treatment plan. These procedures do not need any previous preparation and pose no dangers to the patient.
Let’s unveil the differences between the two techniques in this post:
An ECG is also known as EKG, a 12 Lead EKG, or an Electrocardiogram; it is a simple, non-invasive, and extensively used diagnostic test to detect anomalies in the heartbeat’s rate and rhythm. An impulse is generated whenever the heart beats, recorded on the Electrocardiogram’s specific tracing paper.
The printed lines indicate the pulse, rhythm consistency, cardiac tissue issues, and heart muscle wall thickness. You would be told to remove all jewellery, cosmetics, belts, and any metal you are wearing if undergoing an Electrocardiogram (ECG). With the leads or stickers attached to your chest, arms, and legs, you will lie on your back.
An Echocardiogram, also known as an ultrasound scan or sonar of the heart or ECHO, is a form of cardiac ultrasound. It is a more sophisticated, non-invasive medical diagnostic test to diagnose the heart’s structure and function problems. High-frequency sound waves are sent into the organ and ‘echo’ back, enabling 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 cardiac valves are doing or if there are any anatomic issues. In addition, echocardiography can accurately determine the size and form of the heart. It can detect previous heart problems, infections, blood clots, and intracardiac pressures. The examination is carried out by a cardiac sonographer or ultrasound technologist.
When you undergo an echocardiogram, you will be asked to lie on the left side and your left arm towards your head. The cardiac sonographer will apply gel to your chest and use an ultrasound device to capture pictures. A picture of your pulse will be presented on the monitor.
Why do specialists tell patients to do ECHO or ECG?
ECG is suggested in one of the following cases:
- Arrhythmia (Abnormal Heart Rhythm)
- Coronary Heart Disease
- History of Heart Attack
- The Patient has a planned Heart Surgery
ECHO is suggested in one of the following cases:
- Presence of a Heart Murmur
- Presence of Heart Valve Disease like Stenosis, Regurgitation
- To detect Heart defects in the unborn foetus
Different types of ECG
- 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 in irregular heart rhythm, palpitations, or there is not enough blood flow to the heart muscle.
- Event Monitor: If the patient has intermittent symptoms somehow, the Doctor may advise them 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-averaged Electrocardiogram: This test determines if the patient is at high risk of developing a disease known as heart arrhythmia, which can lead to cardiac arrest. The test is performed in the same manner as a regular EKG, but it analyses the risk using advanced formulae.
Different types of ECHO
- Transthoracic Echocardiography is the most frequent form of echocardiography test is a transthoracic echo. It is painless and non-invasive. A device called a Transducer is placed on your chest. The gadget delivers specific sound waves, known as Ultrasonography, through your chest wall to your heart. Ultrasound waves are inaudible to the human ear. As the ultrasound waves reflect off the structures of your heart, the echo machine turns them into images on a screen.
- Foetal Echocardiography is used to examine the heart of a developing infant. A Doctor may offer this test to screen a newborn for cardiac issues. A foetal echocardiogram is frequently performed 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 check the blood flow in the heart valves and blood vessels.
- Stress Echocardiography determines how well your heart functions when under stress or during activity.
- Transesophagealeal Echocardiography is another way of doing Echocardiography to assess the structure and functioning of the heart by inserting a thin probe through the Oesophagus (food pipe)
Electrocardiography and Echocardiography are handy diagnostic tools for a broad spectrum of cardiac conditions. The ECG monitors the heart’s electrical activity, whereas echocardiography tells about the heart’s mechanical activity. Echo provides a wealth of information on the anatomy and function of the heart tissue and its valves. An ECG takes less than ten minutes to do. However, Echocardiography might take up to 20-45 minutes, depending on the cardiac illness. On the other hand, both tests are completely safe, painless, and simple.
However, before you opt for these tests, you can contact HexaHealth to search for the best ‘cardiologists near me’ so that you get treatment only from the experts.