A Holter monitor is a machine that continuously records the heart’s rhythms. The monitor is usually worn for 24 to 48 hours during normal activity. Electrodes (small conducting patches) are stuck onto your chest and attached to a small recording monitor. You carry the Holter monitor in a pocket or small pouch worn around your neck or waist. The monitor is battery operated.
While you wear the monitor, it records your heart’s electrical activity. You should keep a diary of what activities you do while wearing the monitor. After 24 to 48 hours, you return the monitor to your doctor’s office. The doctor will look at the records and see if there have been any irregular heart rhythms.
Why is it done?
Holter monitoring is used to determine how the heart responds to normal activity. The monitor may also be used :
After a heart attack
- To diagnose heart rhythm problems
- When starting a new heart medicine
It may be used to diagnose
- Atrial fibrillation/flutter
- Multifocal atrial tachycardia
- Paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia
- Reasons for fainting
- Slow heart rate (bradycardia)
- Ventricular tachycardia
What do I need to prepare for the test?
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any tape or other adhesives. Make sure you shower or bathe before you start the test. You will not be able to do so while you are wearing a Holter monitor.
Electrodes must be firmly attached to the chest so the machine gets an accurate recording of the heart’s activity.
While wearing the device, please avoid :
- Vigorous Exercise, Swimming
- Electric blankets
- High-voltage areas
- Metal detectors