A holter monitor is a registration of the heart rhythm by means of an electrocardiogram (ECG), usually during 12 to 24 hours. This registration indicates how the heart behaves over a longer period.
With the aid of a holter monitor, more clarity can be obtained about the presence of disorders in heart rhythm and any connection with symptoms, such as palpitations and dizziness. Additionally, the cardiologist can evaluate the result of a treatment. Episodes are made visible, in which the heart has lack of oxygen.
The holter is a measuring device that continuously records the heart rate. After the examination, the recorded data in the holter is analyzed with the aid of computer equipment. This way, irregularities in heart rhythm can be detected.
A cardiac function technologist in the hospital connects the holter to the patient. Patches are attached to the patient’s chest, which are connected by electrical wires to the holter. The device is carried in a shoulder bag or attached to the belt. Connecting the holter takes approximately twenty minutes. Next, the patient can leave the hospital.
While wearing the holter, the patient is doing the normal everyday things as much as possible. However, there should not be showered. Because the cardiologist wants to know when symptoms arise, it’s necessary to know what a person is doing at the time he or she has symptoms. The patient is given a diary, in which any symptoms can be written down and the times of meals, activities and efforts, such as cycling or climbing stairs and medicine use.
At the end of the examination, the patient returns the holter to the hospital. The results will be discussed at the next visit to the clinic.