Short-term monitoring of irregular heartbeats with a portable device
A Holter monitor is a small device that records the heart’s electrical activity. It works similarly to an Electrocardiogram. However, whereas an electrocardiogram measures your heart’s rhythms over a period of a few minutes, a Holter monitor measures them over the course of a day or two.
What to expect from a Holter monitor?
Your doctor will give you a Holter monitor and show you how to use it. The device will include wires that connect to sticky patches called electrodes. These patches will be placed on your chest, and you’ll wear the monitor on a belt or shoulder strap.
The Holter monitor will record your heart rhythms continuously for one to two days, depending on what your doctor recommends. During this time, you’ll need to keep a diary of what you did and whether you noticed any symptoms, such as:
After the test period, you’ll turn in the Holter monitor and your diary to your doctor, who will compare the test results and your activities to determine what’s causing your symptoms.
Holter monitors shouldn’t have any effect on your daily activities. The testing process isn’t painful, and the only side effect you may notice is a slight rash where the electrodes stick to your skin. This rash usually goes away on its own.
We are leaders in developing and using the latest procedures and technologies to treat heart rhythm disorders, and our cardiac electrophysiology laboratory is one of the most sophisticated in North America.
Ask MedStar Heart & Vascular Institute
Have general questions for our heart and vascular program? Email us at AskMHVI@medstar.net. If you have clinically-specific questions, please contact your physician’s office.