What is Holter Monitoring?
A Holter monitoring study, also known as 24-hour ambulatory ECG, is a painless, portable diagnostic test that measures your heart’s activity for 24 to 48 hours while you perform your daily normal routine.
Indications for a Holter Monitor
Indications for a Holter monitoring include
- Irregular heartbeat
- To test the function of a pacemaker
- Unstable angina
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Cardiac arrhythmia
- Other heart conditions
- Bradycardia (abnormally slow heart rate)
Preparation for Holter Monitoring
Preparation for Holter monitoring includes:
- Your doctor will instruct you regarding the procedure.
- Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any adhesives.
- Consume food and water as usual.
- Avoid applying any cream or body lotion.
- Wear comfortable loose-fitting clothes.
- Excess hair on your chest will be removed so that the electrodes can stick firmly to your chest.
- Take a bath or shower before coming for the procedure to remove body oils.
- Avoid strong magnets, microwaves, electric blankets, electric toothbrushes, electric razors, and metal detectors while wearing the monitor.
Procedure for Holter Monitor
The ambulatory ECG is a non-invasive procedure that involves the following steps:
- Your doctor will instruct you to lie on a table on your back.
- Small electrodes on flexible leads will be attached to sticky pads on your chest and abdomen.
- These leads are plugged into the monitor.
- Your doctor will instruct you to keep the Holter monitor near your body throughout the testing period, usually worn near your waist.
- The electrodes will record any changes in the electrical activity of your heart.
- Your doctor will instruct you to follow your usual routine during the 24-hour test, however, you should avoid bathing or swimming; instead, you may use wet wipes or washcloths to clean your body.
- You will need to keep a diary and record your activities with the date and time.
- Also, record any symptoms that you may experience like chest pain or shortness of breath during the testing period.
- Your doctor will compare your notes to the activity recorded on the ECG.
After the Procedure
Your doctor will instruct you to resume your normal diet and regular activities.