HOLTER MONITORING – AROUND THE CLOCK HEART MONITOR
What is a Holter Monitor?
Your physician has prescribed a Holter Monitoring test. A Holter Monitoring test is a 24-48 hour continuous recording of the heart’s electrical activity (electrocardiogram). It is likely that your physician is looking for abnormal heart rhythms or believes that your heart muscle is not receiving adequate oxygen-rich blood supply (ischemia).
During the Holter Monitoring test, the patient is attached to a series of electrodes and a monitor to record the patient’s heart rhythm around the clock. The patient is instructed to go about normal activities, but avoid showering, bathing or swimming.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why has my physician prescribed the Holter Monitoring test?
There are many reasons that your physician may have ordered the Holter Monitoring test. Many patients that receive this test may have recently experienced chest pain, palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness or fainting episodes. The Holter Monitoring test will help the physician find the cause for these symptoms. A Holter Monitoring test may also be prescribed when medications have been changed or to check the function of a pacemaker.
Is the Holter Monitoring test painful?
No. The Holter Monitoring test is a painless, non-invasive procedure. There are no side-effects to the Holter Monitoring test. However, minor skin irritation may occur from the electrode placement.
Can I go about my regular daily activities during the Holter testing period?
Yes. Patients are strongly advised to carry on with normal daily life. Your physician is looking to correlate your symptoms with specific activities.
Are there any activities to avoid during the Holter testing period?
Yes. Patients should not bathe, shower or swim during the testing period. Patients should also avoid using electric blankets and other electro/magnetic devices that may interfere with the device.
What is the Patient Diary?
Patients are asked to keep a detailed diary of daily activities and any symptoms that they experience. Patients should record the specific time that the symptom was felt so that the physician can match the heart rhythm with the activity.
What is the Event Button?
The Event button is a small button located on the side of the monitor that is to be pressed when you experience any symptoms of discomfort. For example, if you are feeling short of breath you should press the button at that time. After pressing the Event button, you should record the time, what you were doing, and the symptom in your Patient Diary. This helps the physician to look for abnormal heart rhythms at that time.
Please consult your physician with any additional questions regarding the Holter Monitoring test.