24 Hour EKG - Holter Monitor

This is a small battery-operated device that records your heart's electrical activity (ECG) for twenty-four hours or longer.

This is a small battery-operated device that records your heart's electrical activity (ECG) for twenty-four hours or longer.

A holter monitor is a small battery-operated device that continuously records your heart's electrical activity for twenty-four to forty eight hours. It is the size of a small camera and has wires that attach to your skin using round discs (electrodes). It is also known as an ambulatory electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG).

  • A regular electrocardiogram provides information about your heart's rate and rhythm at the time the test is done.
  • A Holter monitor records the same information over an extended period of time as you go about your normal routine. This allows the monitor to capture abnormal heart rhythms that may come and go and would not be picked up by a routine EKG.
  • A complete Holter monitor test includes the test, the doctor's interpretation, and the written report.

Your healthcare provider may recommend a Holter monitor if he/she suspects that you may have abnormal heart rhythms (e.g., abnormally slow, fast or irregular). These abnormal heart rhythms are also called arrhythmias. Holter monitor results can help determine if:

  • The medications you are taking are working.
  • Symptoms such as dizziness, faintness or a racing/skipping heartbeat are caused by problems with the rhythm of your heart.
  • Whether your heart is getting enough oxygen.

When the holter monitor is attached, you will be given a diary to fill out. It is very important that you fill out the diary with your activities and any symptoms that you have.

  • Use the clock on the monitor and write down the time of the activity or symptom.
  • This allows the reviewer to see if your heart rhythm changed during the activity or symptoms.
  • It can also show if you are having heart rhythm problems that do not cause any symptoms.

Results from a Holter monitor can help your healthcare provider determine if you need additional tests, medications, or procedures (i.e., pacemaker or cardioversion).

What should I ask my healthcare provider before having a Holter monitor placed?

  • How long does the monitor need to be on me?
  • What will the test show?
  • Why are you recommending this test? Will the test results change my treatment plan? If not, do I need the test?
  • What other tests or treatments may be needed?

After the test, you should know the results and what symptoms you should report to your healthcare provider. You should also understand all home care instructions and follow-up plans.

Source UHC.com

Also known as:

24 Hour EKG - Holter Monitor

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