What is the holter monitor?
The holter monitor is a portable 24-hour recording device that measures your hearts activity.
Why do you need the holter monitor?
- Many heart problems can only be revealed during activity, such as exercise, eating, stress or even sleeping. With the holter monitor, it is easier to record these transient rhythm disorders or silent ischemia episodes.
- In addition, the type of arrhythmia, its duration, but also its relationship to the symptoms reported by the subject (heart pain, dizziness, fainting, syncope) can be studied.
- It is also important to use it in monitoring the anti-arrhythmic treatment likely to be received by the subject.
What should you tell the doctor before the test?
It is advisable to report all prescription and non-prescription medicines you receive. It will also help to interpret the results, the existence of older electrocardiograms or rhythm holter reports.
How to Prepare?
Wear comfortable clothes that are not too tight. Avoid jewelry and clothes with metallic objects, as they can cause parasites during recording.
What is the procedure?
A small, portable device is placed in the patient’s waist or neck. With the help of 5-7 cables, it is attached to self-adhesive electrodes, which are placed in defined positions of the chest wall.
What do you have to do during the examination?
You may be asked to record various events or activities in a calendar. In this way, it is easier to correlate symptoms with electrocardiographic changes in the holter.
When you sleep, try to stay upright with the recorder on the side for better recording quality.
In case any of the electrodes or cables are removed, an audible signal will be heard. Try replacing the cable. If this is not possible, contact your doctor.
Avoid using an electric toothbrush or shaving machine as it is likely to cause parasites.
At the end of the recording, you should return to the clinic to analyze the recorded electrocardiogram on the computer.
What do you need to know about the results of the examination?
A doctor should interpret the holter monitor
The results of the test are compared with the symptoms reported by the subject
It is likely that during 24-hour recording, no symptoms or the quality of the electrocardiogram would be desirable. In this case, a second placement of the holter may be required.
Ioannis Tzanogiorgis, Cardiologist, Athens