Holter Monitoring

Holter monitoring is a small device and a few wires hooked up to you for a period of time requested by your doctor to monitor the electrical activity of your heart.


What is it?

Holter monitoring is usually used to diagnose heart rhythm disturbances, specifically to find the cause of palpitations or dizziness. You wear a small recording device, called a Holter monitor, which is connected to small disks (called electrodes) that are placed on your chest to get a reading of your heart rate and rhythm over a 24, 48, or 72 hour period. Your heart rhythm is transmitted and recorded then played back on a computer to be analyzed and determine the cause of your arrhythmia.

What is Event monitoring?

Like a Holter monitor, an event monitor also uses a recording device to monitor your heart. Unlike the Holter, it does not continuously monitor your heart. If does not record until you feel symptoms and trigger the monitor. When you feel symptoms of an arrhythmia, you can telephone a monitoring station, where a record can be made. If you cannot get to a phone, you can save the information in the event monitor, which can later be sent to a monitoring station.

Why is it done?

To determine how the heart responds to normal activity. It may also be used after a heart attack, to diagnose heart rhythm problems and when starting a new heart medicine.

How long does it take?

24, 48 or 72 hours

How to prepare:

You should bathe before your appointment because once your monitoring begins you cannot get the monitor wet or remove it to bathe. A technician will place electrodes that sense your heartbeat on your chest. For men, a small amount of hair may be shaved to make sure the electrodes stick. Once your monitor is fitted and you’ve received instructions on how to wear it, you can leave your doctor’s office and resume your normal activities.