Patient’s Guide to Holter Monitoring
What is a holter monitor?
A Holter Monitor is a continuous electrocardiogram (ECG) taken to see how your pulse and heart rhythm respond while you are performing your normal daily activities.
What happens during this test?
This is a simple procedure. ECG monitoring electrodes will be put on your chest by a technologist during your initial appointment. These electrodes will pick up the signals from your heart and transfer them to the portable recorder to be stored. The stored recordings will later be transformed into a report that will be analyzed by your physician. While wearing the electrodes and the recording monitor, you should go about your normal activities and routine, with limited restrictions.
During the testing period, you will keep a diary of any symptoms that may occur (Ex. Fainting, palpitations, chest pain, etc.). The diary will allow your physician to match your symptoms with the recordings from the monitor.
What you need to know:
- There are no medications or diet restrictions during the monitoring period.
- Wear comfortable clothing. A loose shirt is preferred.
- Do not wear any lotion or powder on your chest.
- For showering, simply disconnect the cable from the monitor. This will leave the electrodes and connected wires in place on your chest, while the disconnected monitor should be left in a dry area. The monitor should not get wet for any reason. After showering, connect the cable back to the monitor.
- Do not tamper with the monitor in any way. You are responsible for its care.
- Do not use an electric blanket, as it may interfere with the recording.
- Stay away from magnets, metal detectors, and high voltage areas such as power lines.
- You may remove the monitor and electrode patches once the monitoring duration is completed, which will be indicated on the display screen of your monitor. Promptly return the monitor, wires, and diary to the office.
Wearing a holter monitor causes no pain. Because the electrodes are attached to your chest with adhesive or tape, you may experience skin irritation at the electrode sites. Please contact your physician’s office if skin irritation becomes bothersome.
Discussion of Test Results:
Please note that only your referring physician can discuss your test results with you. Test results should be available within 48 hours of the monitor being returned to the physician office.