Difference Between Electrocardiogram or Electrocardiograph (ECG or EKG)

After reading the terms, one might be confused about which test does what and what is the real difference between them. An ECG and an EKG are two abbreviations of the same test which people might refer to as Electrocardiogram or Electrocardiograph. According to a cardiothoracic surgeon, an ECG and EKG have just a few differences which are worth being noted before choosing either of the two.

What are an ECG and an EKG?

An Electrocardiogram or an echocardiogram, whatever one might like to call it, is an ultrasound of the heart. This ultrasound helps in providing moving pictures of the heart which in return, provides the correct information that is needed to know what the structure of the heart is and how it is truly functioning.

In contrast to this, an EKG provides less information than an ECG. While ECG provides information about the functioning of one’s heart, EKG just focuses on providing information about the rhythm of a person’s heart. However, both of these tests are complementary to each other and are used simultaneously.

Is an EKG or an ECG painful?

Not at all. Both these tests are non-invasive and people who might undergo either of the two are not going to feel any pain at all which they might have felt if they went for an invasive test such as heart catheterization.

When is an ECG or an EKG needed? 

Both ECG and EKG are the most common heart tests that might be ordered to be done by any cardiologist. Almost every second person who might be suspected to be suffering from any issue related to the heart might be suggested to go for either of them as it is a screening test which will help to know the signs or any symptoms of a present disease related to one’s heart.

What is the process for both?

An EKG test takes about 5 minutes only. Ten small pads are placed on different areas of the chest and those are attached to the main EKG machine. If a man has hair on his chest, he might have to shave it for better tracing and contact. This test helps in creating a tracing of the heart’s activity.

An ECG usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Patients going for an ECG need to wear a gown and lie on their left side on the table which is designed specifically for performing an ECG. After that, an ultrasound gel is applied to several areas of one’s chest. Then an ultrasound probe is used on the chest which helps in taking pictures of the areas.


So these tests are complementary to each other and one might go for either. If a person is living in Hyderabad, they can visit Dr Gokhale for the best ECG test in Hyderabad. Dr. Alla Gopala Krishna Gokhale is currently the best cardiologist in Hyderabad and visiting him for any heart-related problem is the wisest decision that a person can take.