ECG or EKG. The electrocardiogram is a noninvasive test used to measure the electrical activity of the heart. It shows heart rate and rhythm.
After a complete cardiac history, the doctors and their associates will listen to your child’s heart and assess the cardiovascular status. At that time, they may perform one of several tests to confirm your child’s cardiac diagnosis. None of these tests should bother you or your child. Let your child know this and emphasize that the visit should be fun.
Home Monitoring. There are several devices used to monitor the heart’s electrical activity as an outpatient. The Holter Monitor uses a tape to record an EKG over a longer period of time. This usually involves a 24-hour test and is used when an abnormality of the heart rhythm is suspected. Frequently, this longer evaluation is helpful in finding an abnormality not apparent on a brief office EKG. An Event Monitor is another home test used to capture EKG abnormalities that may not be apparent on the brief EKG in the office. The event monitor is useful for longer periods of time and will be explained in detail by one of the staff in the doctors’ office.
Echocardiogram or Cardiac Ultrasound. This painless test is a means to evaluate both the structure and the function of the heart. Sound waves are transmitted and received to show cardiac anatomy, how well the heart muscle pumps and how the heart valves are working. An additional test that uses soundwaves, the Doppler Ultrasound, measures the speed of the blood as it moves through the heart chambers.