Holter Monitor

What is a Holter monitor?

A Holter monitor is a portable device that records a person’s heart rate and rhythm for an extended period of time, typically 24 to 48 hours. It is typically worn by a person while they go about their daily activities, and is used to detect irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias that may not be apparent during a standard office visit or electrocardiogram (ECG). The data collected by the Holter monitor is analyzed by a healthcare professional to make a diagnosis and determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Why it’s done

A Holter monitor is done to detect arrhythmias, or irregular heartbeats, that may not be apparent during a standard office visit or electrocardiogram (ECG). These arrhythmias can cause symptoms such as palpitations, lightheadedness, shortness of breath, or chest pain. They may also increase the risk of stroke or heart attack. Holter monitoring can help identify the type and frequency of arrhythmias and determine if they are responsible for a person’s symptoms. It can also be used to evaluate the effectiveness of treatment for arrhythmias, such as medication or a pacemaker. In addition, Holter monitoring can help to identify asymptomatic individuals who may be at risk of arrhythmias or other cardiac issues.

The procedure

The procedure for a Holter monitor typically includes the following steps:

1. Preparation: Before the test, you will be asked to remove any clothing or jewelry that may interfere with the electrodes. You will also be asked to remove any lotions, oils, or powders from your chest area.

2. Attaching the electrodes: Small adhesive electrodes will be placed on your chest, usually around the upper left and right sides of your ribcage. The electrodes are connected to the Holter monitor with wires.

3. Wearing the monitor: You will then wear the Holter monitor, usually for 24 to 48 hours, while you go about your daily activities.

4. Keeping a diary: You will be asked to keep a diary of your activities and symptoms during the test, such as when you feel palpitations or chest pain.

5. Removing the monitor: After the test, the healthcare professional will remove the electrodes and the monitor.

6. Data analysis: The data collected by the Holter monitor will be analyzed by a healthcare professional, which can take several days.

7. Reviewing the results: The healthcare professional will discuss the results of the test with you and determine the appropriate course of treatment, if necessary.

Please note that the actual procedure may vary slightly depending on the facility or the healthcare professional conducting the test.