What is a Holter Monitor?
Holter Monitors record continuous electrocardiographs (EKG) of the heart's rhythm for 24 — 48 hours. There are 5 electrodes on the chest with a small loop called a "stress-loop" taped above each electrode that is attached to a small recorder. This takes only 5-10 minutes to hook up. The recorder is worn for 24 — 48 hours; the patient will keep a diary of activity and make note of any symptoms. The patient will perform all normal activity unless experiencing any symptoms that require them to rest, stop, call their physician, etc. The patient will return the following day at the same time to have the monitor removed.
Why is Holter Monitoring Required?
- Holter Monitors help the physician determine and evaluate abnormal heart rhythms while the patient is involved in everyday activities or asleep:
- How many occur
- How long they last
- Where they originate from
What is Involved in Preparation?
- Take a shower or bath prior to coming in, if possible
- Do not apply any lotions, oils or powders to chest/torso area prior to the test, if possible
- Wear comfortable, loose fitting clothing
What is Expected Once the Holter is Hooked Up?
- Do not touch or try to adjust the electrodes once they are in place, if the stress loop comes undone simply re-tape it with new tape.
- Do not get the machine or electrodes wet.
- Do not have X-rays taken while wearing the Holter Monitor.
- Do not use any electric blankets, heating pads while wearing the Holter Monitor.
- Keep a close record of activities while wearing the Holter Monitor, especially if any symptoms are experienced. This is the only way the physician can accurately evaluate why the symptoms are occurring.
- If there are no symptoms, make a note in the diary every hour of the time, what you are doing and in the space provided for symptoms, simply write "None".
- This test must be ordered by a physician
- This test must be scheduled through Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics
- Bring the order with you and register at the front desk or at the registration desk between Lab and Cardiopulmonary Diagnostics
When Will I Know the Results of the Holter Monitor?
The tape inside the recorder must be sent away to be read and interpreted. This will start the next day after the tape is removed from the machine and shipped off. The tape will reach its destination the following day, the results average 2-3 days to be faxed back where they will be delivered to the physician either that same day or first thing the next day. The physician will then read the report and contact you.