What’s the Difference Between EKG and ECG? banner

By westgate July 8, 2021

What’s the Difference Between EKG and ECG?

The short answer to the question, “What’s the difference between EKG and ECG?” is: nothing!

An EKG (electrocardiogram) is the same as an ECG (electrocardiograph). EKG is derived from the German word for electrocardiogram (elektrokardiographie) while ECG is an English acronym. Both are sometimes used interchangeably in the United States.

An EKG or ECG may be ordered by your physician in order to assess the electrical activity and beats of your heart. The information gathered from these tests may identify such conditions as heart disease, a blocked artery, problems with the heart valves, tissue inflammation (pericarditis) or abnormalities in the size of your heart (cardiomyopathy). Your doctor may even be able to diagnose an imbalance in the electrolytes in your body. 

What to Expect with an EKG or ECG

EKG or ECG tests are very safe and only last a few minutes. To get readings of your heart function, your doctor will have you lie down and then will attach approximately 12 electrodes to different areas of your body: chest, legs and arms. Tubes extend from the electrodes to a portable machine that records the measurements of the electrical activity of your heart. The EKG or ECG readings allow your doctor to see how long it takes an electrical wave to pass through your heart and the amount of electrical activity that is occurring. You do not have to do any physical activity while the EKG or ECG is being done – you just relax and breathe normally.

This is a painless procedure. The only discomfort you may experience is when the sticky electrodes are removed from your body.

Should You Request an EKG or ECG?

If you are feeling any type of abnormal feelings in your chest area, please do not ignore your symptoms. Chest pain, tightness or a squeezing sensation, especially when you are also experiencing sweating, weakness or nausea/vomiting, is a very serious symptom that may indicate a heart attack. CALL 911 immediately if you have those symptoms – don’t wait to talk to your physician and don’t drive yourself to the hospital.

Other symptoms of heart problems may include an irregular heartbeat, shortness of breath or dizziness/fainting.

The doctors at Westgate Family Physicians perform ECGs in Spartanburg, SC. If you are experiencing any abnormal physical symptoms, we encourage you to schedule an appointment right away. To request an appointment, contact us at (864) 574-0070 or click here.