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If you are having an irregular or rapid heartbeat, dizziness or palpitations, a test that may help your doctor determine when these episodes occur is a Holter Monitor, which is essentially a portable electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG.)
During the Test
Patients are hooked up using electrodes to the portable unit, wearing it for 24 or 48 hours. During that time, you will continue with your normal activities, including work, exercise, sleep or whatever you may typically do during a 24-hour period.
The technologist will place electrodes at different areas around your chest, securing them with sticky patches. Wires run from the patches to the portable box, which looks similar to a small tape player. You can either attach it to your belt or carry it with a shoulder strap.
Throughout the day, you will record any time you experience symptoms – like a change in your heart rate, fluttering, dizziness or even fainting. You will log what you were doing at the time so your doctor will know what may trigger these events.
After the Test
Once the 24 hour-period is completed; you will return the unit to us. We will download the information that documents the episodes and look for abnormalities in your heart rhythm. Once your doctor analyzes the results of the Holter Monitor report, he or she will talk with you about next steps in your care.
If you are having irregular arrhythmia (abnormal heartbeat), a test that may help your doctor determine when these episodes occur is an Event Monitor, which is essentially a portable electrocardiogram (EKG or ECG) that measures specific cardiac “events.”
Patients are hooked up using electrodes to the portable unit, wearing it for a designated time recommended by your doctor (usually 30 days). During that time, you will continue with your normal activities, including work, exercise, sleep or whatever you may typically do during the week.
The technologist will teach you how to remove the device so you can bathe or shower. When you feel symptoms, press a button to start recording the episode, which is saved for interpretation. The episode is immediately sent to us so your doctor can review it. If the reading is indicative of an emergency, you will be referred to the closest emergency department.
Once your doctor analyzes all of the results of the Event Monitor report, he or she will talk with you about next steps in your care.
The following explains how the Holter Monitor Test works as well as what you need to do in order to prepare for the test.
You will have an appointment for your monitor fitting.
You willl be asked to keep a journal.
You will be allowed to continue with daily activities.
Learn More About Cardiovascular Tests
*For some patients who may have less frequent symptoms, an implantable loop monitor may be a good alternative to the Holter monitoring system and has been shown in several studies to significantly improve our ability to make a diagnosis.
There is also a new short-term wireless monitoring system called a Ziopatch that we are currently evaluating in clinical trials. Your cardiologist can help decide which type of monitoring system is best for you.
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