24 Hour ECG (Holter) monitoring

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24 ECG (Holter)

The Holter monitor records the electrical activity of every heartbeat on an ECG (short for Electrocardiogram) during normal daily activities and through the night. This allows us to continuously record the electrical activity of the heart, and compare it to any symptoms you may experience.

Why is a Holter monitor performed?

A Holter monitor provides useful information in a number of situations

  • It allows us to compare the heart rhythm with your symptoms (or how you are feeling).
  • It allows us to record important changes in heart rhythm that you may not be aware of, but which might benefit from treatment
  • It allows us to check on the responses to some drugs, pacemakers or the results of some treatments (eg ablation procedures; see EP studies)

How is a Holter monitor performed?

You will need to allow about 15 mins plus any waiting time to have a Holter Monitor fitted. A cardiac technician will attach 5 small paper electrodes to the skin of the lower chest after gently cleaning the skin and on occasions removing excessive chest hair in men. These electrodes are connected by cables to a small, light, battery powered recorder (see picture) kept in a pouch.

Should I do any special preparation for a Holter monitor?

Yes. You cannot take a bath or shower with a monitor on, since it is not waterproof. However, you can wear normal clothes on top of it, and you should perform all your other activities as usual. You do not need to fast prior to a Holter monitor.

You should record any symptoms you feel while the monitor is on by pressing the EVENT BUTTON on the monitor, shown to you by the technician.

How do I find out what the Holter monitor shows?

Our technical staff analyse the Holter recording which is then reviewed by one of our cardiologists. This may take 1-2 days. Your cardiologist will arrange either a follow-up appointment or give you the results directly after that time.