Understanding the acronyms

ECG is short for Electrocardiogram or Electrocardiograph. Also known as EKG, due to the German spelling of ‘elektrokardiogramm’, it is a test that measures the pattern of electric pulses generated by the heart’s rhythm.

Echocardiograms (ECHO), on the other hand, is an ultrasound that examines our heart’s structure.

Both are non-invasive medical tests that assess the heart’s health and identify diseases that affect it.


The differences between an ECG and an ECHO test

The main difference between the two tests lies in their uses and function.

While an echo shows the mechanics of how the heart moves and performs, an EKG/ECG uses electrodes (small, plastic patches that stick to the skin) to measure the electrical impulses of heartbeats.

Thus, both tests provide different data and help better understand a patient’s heart health.

Please see the table below to learn about other differences between the two tests.

 DifferencesECG TestECHO Test
1.TechniqueWith an ECG/EKG, doctors attach electrodes to various spots on your chest wall to record heart activity and interpret it on the tracing graph.In an ECHO, doctors apply ultrasound gel to the chest wall and then place the ultrasound probes on the chest to capture images of your heart and valve structure.
2.DetailingAn EKG shows cardiologists the peaks and dips of the heart rhythm, providing limited comprehensive information that is more often related to impending heart attacks.An echo provides profoundly accurate information about the overall structure and function.
3.TimingThe test usually takes only five minutes to perform.The test can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on the specific information that the doctor needs.
4.PopularityAn ECG or EKG is more affordable for many patients. Doctors also often request this test for almost every patient with symptoms of heart disease, or patients with a family history of cardiovascular diseases.Doctors usually don’t request an Echo unless your EKG result returns abnormal findings.

Note: Though the ECG/EKG is the most commonly ordered heart test, your cardiologist or healthcare provider will determine if you need an ECG/EKG and/or an echo.


Reason for both tests

Your healthcare provider may recommend one or both tests to check your heart health.

The usual symptoms that require the tests are:

  • Chest pain.
  • Chest tightness.
  • Trouble exercising.
  • Dizziness or confusion.
  • Fast, or irregular heartbeats.
  • Heart palpitations.
  • Blocked or narrowing arteries,e.t.c.

How to book your ECG or ECHO test with Afriglobal Medicare

To carry out any medical test with Afriglobal Medicare, please send us a message here or walk into any of our health centres near you. And If you are looking to carry out a complete body checkup, here is a list of our health check packages and the test parameters in each. 

Lastly, don’t hesitate to contact us for any further assistance you may require, or follow us on your social media for health tips.

Till our next blog,

Stay healthy!!!