Heart & Cardiology/EKG


Can a 12 lead EKG interrupted by a competent cardiologist show enlarged heart or cardiomyopathy? I understand that an echo is superior but I was wondering if these could also be exposed on a 12 lead at a cardiologist office? Thanks


Most cardiologists practicing in the US are able to interpret EKG's to a degree where they will pick up important signs on an EKG. Heart enlargement on an ekg typically known as LVH or left ventricular hypertrophy is determined by standard formulas looking at the size of certain waves on the tracing. As you pointed out, echocardiography is the preferred method to detect these. EKG, although able to capture some enlargement is neither as sensitive or specific as the echocardiogram, but still has reasonable accuracy. It is for this reason, when routine screening, we may use the EKG. When concerned in a specific case about enlargement and we want to know for sure we use the echo.

So to answer the question, the EKG will often but not always pick up enlargement. A cardiologist would be able to interpret the EKG in those cases.

Hope that was helpful,  

Heart & Cardiology

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Mustafa Ahmed MD


Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Cardiac Surgery, Hypertension, Pulmonary Embolism, Structural and Valve Disease


Board Certification Internal Medicine and Cardiology Interventional and Structural Cardiology


Multiple Publications In High Quality Peer Reviewed Journals. Internationally Recognized.

MD from The Royal Victoria University of Manchester, England Medicine, Cardiology, Interventional Cardiology, Research Training - University of Alabama

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.