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Echocardiography is a noninvasive ultrasound procedure that assesses the heart’s function and structures and detects anomalies if there are any. Echocardiography allows us to  diagnose or evaluate many conditions, including:

  • Congenital heart disease – Defects in one or more heart structures.
  • Atherosclerosis – Blocking of the arteries due to gradual clogging from inflammation and cholesterol deposition.
  • Arrhythmia – An irregular heartbeat.
  • Cardiomyopathy – These are a group of diseases that affects heart muscle due to acquired or inherited causes resulted in inefficient pumping of blood by the heart.
  • Congestive heart failure – When the heart cannot pump efficiently, there’s congestion in the blood vessels and lungs and swelling in the feet, ankles and other parts of the body.
  • Aneurysm – A ballooning of the heart muscle or aorta.
  • Valvular heart disease – Malfunction of heart valves that may cause aberrant blood flow.
  • Cardiac tumor – Tumor of the heart.
  • Pericarditis – Inflammation or infection of the sac surrounding the heart.

What is the difference between an Echocardiography and an EKG?

Echocardiography and electrocardiography (EKG or ECG) are both essential tools used by physicians to evaluate heart health, albeit with distinct focuses and applications. While an EKG primarily examines the heart’s electrical activity, providing insight into its rhythm and conduction pathways, echocardiography employs ultrasound to generate a detailed visual representation of the heart’s structure and function.

In essence, an EKG serves as a snapshot of the heart’s electrical system, offering valuable information about its functionality and detecting abnormalities in rhythm. On the other hand, an echocardiogram offers a comprehensive view of the heart’s mechanical aspects, enabling clinicians to assess factors such as cardiac chamber size, wall motion, and valve function. This fundamental difference allows healthcare professionals to utilize each modality strategically, with EKGs aiding in diagnosing electrical abnormalities and echocardiograms facilitating the assessment of structural integrity and mechanical function, thus informing treatment plans effectively.