What is it?
Your Doctor has ordered a Holter monitor. This test records your heart beat and its rhythm over a 24 hour period. This allows the detection of disturb-ances of the rhythm that occur infrequently or without warning symptoms.
This test is useful when you have palp-tations, which are an awareness of your heart beat missing a beat or producing an extra beat or thump. It is also useful when you have symptoms of dizziness, a racing heart or blackouts. It can be a useful way to determine if treatments given for these problems are effective.
During the test we will record your heart rate and will want you to write down any symptoms you experience. You will be fitted with a series of ECG dots on the chest and a small recording box, which is like a walkman cassette player. Set up takes about 15 minutes. The following day you will return to have the device removed. This takes about ten minutes.
What preparation do I need?
There is no specific preparation required. You should avoid exposing the machine to water.
What are the risks?
There are no specific risks to this test, in particular any risk of electrical shock. Like many episodic conditions the main problem is not experiencing symptoms on the day of recording and it may take several recordings test to catch the symptoms.