Holter Monitoring Test

What is a Holter monitoring test?

A Holter monitoring test is a non-invasive diagnostic test. In general, it uses a portable device called a Holter monitor to continuously record your heart's electrical activity for 24 – 48 hours. Depending on your condition and Holter device, your doctor may also recommend using the device for up to 1 week.

This monitoring period differs from an electrocardiogram (ECG), which only records the heart's electrical activity for a short period.


Why do you need a Holter monitoring test?

Your doctor may recommend a Holter monitoring test to:

  • Detect transient (temporary) rhythm disorders of the heart. The test allows your doctor to correlate symptoms such as palpitations (fast, strong, or irregular heartbeats, fainting and dizziness spells to your heart rhythm.
  • Monitor the electrical activity of your heart during normal activity or after a heart attack.
  • Diagnose any abnormal heart rhythm (including serious arrhythmias).
  • Determine the success of a heart procedure.
  • Monitor the effect of new heart medicine.

What are the risks and complications of a Holter monitoring test?

There is no significant risk from wearing a Holter monitor. You may feel some discomfort from wearing the device continuously or skin irritation where the electrodes are attached.

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