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Holter monitoring

Holter monitoring provides a continuous recording of the heart rhythm during normal activity. The monitor is usually worn for 24 hours to obtain a recording of a complete day.

How the test is performed
Electrodes (small conducting patches) are placed on your chest and attached to a small recording monitor that you can carry in a pocket or in a small pouch worn around your neck. The monitor is battery-operated. Your heart electrical activity is recorded (much like the recording of an ECG), usually for a 24-hour period, while you keep a diary of your activities. The recording is then analyzed, a report of the heart's activity is tabulated, and irregular heart activity is correlated with your activity at the time.

It is very important that you accurately record your symptoms and activities so that the doctor can correlate them with your Holter monitor findings.

How the test will feel
There is no discomfort associated with the test. Hair may need to be shaved from the chest for electrode placement. You must keep the monitor close to the body, either in a pocket or in a pouch worn around the shoulder or neck. You can continue normal activities while wearing the monitor.

Why is the test performed?
Holter monitoring is used to determine how the heart responds to normal activity. Other times Holter monitoring is used include the following:

  • When given cardiac medication
  • After a heart attack
  • To diagnose an abnormal or dangerous heart rhythm



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