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An electrocardiogram or EKG provides doctors with a simple test that records the electrical activity of the heart. The test may help detect and locate the source of problems within the heart.
An EKG may uncover a number of problems with the heart including
Reduced blood flow to the heart muscle
Irregular heart beats
Problems with the heart not beating forcefully enough
Enlargement of the heart
Diseases of the heart’s valves
Has your child experienced an irregular heartbeat, swelling in the legs, shortness of breath, or unexplained chest pain? If so, chances are your child’s doctor will recommend that he have an echocardiogram to help determine if his or her symptoms are caused by heart problems. An echocardiogram is a painless test that uses sound waves to create pictures of the heart. Doctors can use this information to pinpoint various abnormalities in valves or chambers of the heart and to evaluate the heart’s ability to pump. Echocardiograms are frequently used to learn about a wide range of heart problems. Your doctor may have this test done to
Check if the size of the heart is enlarged
See if heart valves do not open normally or do not form a complete seal when closed
Find blood clots or tumors in the heart
Look for heart muscles that are not pumping properly
Measure the thickness of heart walls
Evaluate the size and shape of the chambers in the heart
Locate defects in the heart’s structure
Identify fluid around the heart
Your heart is in the right place when you trust your child to the experts at Providence Children’s Hospital.
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