What is Holter monitoring?
A Holter monitor is a small device that can be worn and used to keep track of the heart rhythm. Holter monitoring is done as a diagnostic procedure for various heart conditions. It may be even suggested when the doctor is unable to fetch enough information about a heart condition through an ECG. Holter monitoring is also known as ‘ambulatory ECG monitor’. Information captured on a Holter monitor can be used to figure out the problems with the heart’s rhythm. A standard Holter monitor may not always able to capture the irregular heartbeat. In such cases, the doctor may suggest a wireless Holter monitor, that can be used for weeks.
When is a Holter monitoring test suggested?
If the doctor finds the patient with any signs or symptoms of a heart condition, he/she may suggest an ECG test. If the ECG test fails to gather enough information, the doctor may suggest a Holter monitoring. It is mostly suggested for irregular heart arrhythmias. A Holter monitoring can detect the irregularities of the heart, that the ECG fails to detect.
How is Holter monitoring performed?
The procedure is noninvasive and painless. The patient will need to wear the Holter monitor device for 24-48 hours. The wires and electrodes can be hidden inside the clothe. The patient need to wear the device for all the time, even while he/she is sleeping. The patient will not be constrained from normal activities. How long the patient need to wear the Holter monitor will be decided by the doctor according to the condition. The doctor will suggest keeping a diary of all the daily activities while wearing the device. The patient will need to note the exact time and activity in the activity diary.
How are the results assessed?
The doctor will assess the report once the monitoring period is over. The doctor interprets the result by comparing the data from the recorder and the activity note in the diary. The doctor will be able to tell you the exact result after analysing the two. It will help the doctor to find the heart condition. Otherwise, the doctor will suggest another test to clarify it.