A Holter monitor is a compact, battery-operated medical device, that measures your heart’s activity, such as rate and rhythm. Your physician may prescribe this test if he needs more information than a routine electrocardiogram (EKG) can offer.
Holter monitoring is an ambulatory test to record your heart rate and rhythm for 24 hours. You wear the Holter monitor for 12 to 48 hours as you go about your normal daily routine. This device has electrodes and leads exactly like a regular EKG. It can pick up not only your heart rate and rhythm, but it can also help to diagnose the cause of chest pain and many other symptoms related to the cardiovascular diseases.
The Holter monitor test is also called ambulatory electrocardiography. There are devices other than a holter that can be used to measure heart activity for longer periods of time. However, Holter monitoring is widely used because of its availability and affordability.
Instructions for Patients
Keep the Holter monitor dry to ensure its proper functioning. Take a bath or shower before your appointment so that the monitor can be properly attached to your skin.
Magnetic and electrical fields may interfere with the readings of the Holter monitor. Avoid going into areas of high voltage while carrying the monitor.
There are instances when misreading or false-positives do occur, in such cases, the Holter may need to be applied again.
Understanding the results
After the recommended time frame has passed, you’ll return to your
Cardiologist's office to have the Holter monitor removed. Your doctor will read your activity journal and analyze the result by attaching the device to the computer. Depending on the results of the examination, you may need to undergo further testing before a diagnosis is made.
The Holter monitor may reveal that your medicine isn’t working or your dosage needs to be modified. This test is specially designed to detect abnormal heart conditions that are painless and unknown to you.
Wearing a Holter monitor is hassle-free and one of the best ways to identify potential heart problems and other related issues.