24 and 48 hour Holter monitoring
What is a Holter Monitor?
A Holter monitor is a small recorder. It is a little bigger than a
personal stereo (Walkman). You will wear it for one to two days. It records all
your heartís electrical activity.
Why do I need a Holter Monitor?
A Holter monitor is used to look for problems in the rhythm of your
heartbeat. This test is used for people who have symptoms like palpitations or
dizziness that come and go. A regular EKG only lasts a few seconds and can miss
Before the test
- You do not need to do anything special to prepare for the test.
When you arrive for the test
- Your doctor, nurse, or a technician will attach 5 sticky patches
to your chest.
- Wires are attached to the sticky patches. The wires are also
attached to a small box that contains a recorder.
- You will be given a paper to use as a diary of your symptoms while
wearing the Holter monitor.
During the test
- You will wear the monitor all the time for one or two days (even
- You will carry the recorder with you in a special holster.
- You can continue to do the things you normally do.
- Check every so often to make sure none of the sticky patches have
come loose. You will have received instructions from your doctor about what to
do if this happens.
- Do not swim, shower or take a bath while wearing the Holter
monitor. You may wash with a wash cloth. Do not get the box or patches wet.
- Do not drop your
- Do not place your
Holter monitor near a magnet.
- The Holter monitor continuously records your heartís activity.
- You will keep a diary of your activity while you wear the monitor.
You should write down the time, what you are doing, and any symptoms you feel.
Your doctor may give you a form or booklet where you can write this
Example: 6:35 AM, getting out of bed, a little dizzy.
7:00 AM, breakfast, feel fine.
7:30 AM, start walking on treadmill.
7:40 AM, very dizzy, stopped walking, sitting to rest.
7:45 AM, dizziness stopped.
- Your doctor will tell you when to return to the office.
After the test
- When you return to your doctorís office or clinic, they will
remove the monitor.
- Give them your activity diary with the monitor.
- A specially trained technician reviews all of your heart activity
on the recorder and makes a printout for your doctor.
- Your doctor will review the printouts and compare it to your diary
to see if your heart rhythm was the cause of your symptoms.
- Your doctor will either call you or set up another appointment to
discuss the results of the test with you.