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Holter Monitoring

What is Holter Monitor? A Holter monitor is a continuous tape recording of a patient's EKG for 24 hours. Since it can be worn during the patient's regular daily activities, it helps the physician correlate symptoms of dizziness, palpitations (a sensation of fast or irregular heart rhythm) or black outs. Since the recording covers 24 hours, on a continuous basis, Holter monitoring is much more likely to detect an abnormal heart rhythm when compared to the EKG which lasts less than a minute. It can also help evaluate the patient's EKG during episodes of chest pain, during which time there may be telltale changes to suggest ischemia or reduced blood supply to the muscle of the left ventricle.

How do I prepare for the Test?  The only requirement is that the patient wear loose-fitting clothes. Buttons down the front of a shirt or blouse is preferable. This makes it convenient to apply the EKG electrodes, and also comfortably carry the monitor in a relatively discreet manner

 

How is the Test Performed?  

The chest is cleansed with an alcohol solution to ensure good attachment of the sticky EKG electrodes. Men with hairy chest may require small areas to be shaved. The EKG electrodes (circular white patches on the left) are applied to the chest. Thin wires are then used to connect the electrodes to a small tape recorder. The tape recorder is secured to the patient's belt or it can be slung over the shoulder and neck with the use of a disposable pouch. The recorder is worn for 24 hours and the patient is encouraged to continue his or her daily activities. To avoid getting the setup wet and damaging the recorder, the patient will not be able to shower for the duration of the test. A diary or log is provided so that the patient can record activity (walking the dog, upset at neighbor, etc.) and symptoms (skipped heartbeats, chest discomfort, dizziness, etc.) together with the time. The Holter monitor has an internal clock which stamp the time on the EKG strips. These can be used to correlate the heart rhythm with symptoms or complaints. After 24 hours, the Holter monitor needs to be returned to the laboratory. This can be removed by our staff.

 

 

 

 



 



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