Department of Cardiac Sciences strives to provide excellent cardiac care and treatment to the patient. Our expertise in cardiac care helps us in treating the patients with heart disease by providing complete all-round cardiology care
The electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) is a diagnostic tool that is routinely used to assess the electrical and muscular functions of the heart. While it is a relatively simple test to perform, the interpretation of the ECG tracing requires significant amounts of training. Numerous textbooks are devoted to the subject.
The heart is a two stage electrical pump and the heart’s electrical activity can be measured by electrodes placed on the skin. The electrocardiogram can measure the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat, as well as provide indirect evidence of blood flow to the heart muscle.
A standardized system has been developed for the electrode placement for a routine ECG. Ten electrodes are needed to produce 12 electrical views of the heart. An electrode lead, or patch, is placed on each arm and leg and six are placed across the chest wall. The signals received from each electrode are recorded. The printed view of these recordings is the electrocardiogram.
By comparison, a heart monitor requires only three electrode leads – one each on the right arm, left arm, and left chest. It only measures the rate and rhythm of the heartbeat. This kind of monitoring does not constitute a complete ECG.
The echocardiogram is a more advanced testing procedure in comparison to the EKG. The echocardiogram uses ultrasound, or echoing high-frequency sound waves, to create a visual image of your heart. This helps doctors view the internal structure of your heart and how well blood is able to flow through it. Doctors can also get an accurate read on the size and shape of your heart, as well as the level of heart valve function. Echocardiograms are typically used to diagnosis issues such as blood clots and infections, and they can also be used to detect previous heart attacks. By indicating the velocity of blood flow as it leaves the heart, an echocardiogram can indicate whether the heart is pumping efficiently. This test is conducted by a medical professional known as an Ultrasound Technologist or Sonographer.