A Holter Monitor is a small recording device that a patient wears for a 24-hour period to produce a continuous record of the patient’s EKG. Holter monitoring is useful in detecting cardiac abnormalities that might not show up in an exam of shorter duration. Holter monitoring is performed during the course of the patient’s ordinary daily activities and the chest electrodes are worn discreetly under clothing. The patient is able to do ordinary activities as long as the electrodes and monitor stay dry.
The physician interpreting the Holter monitoring data seeks to correlate activities and symptoms, such as black-outs, dizziness, or irregular heartbeat (e.g., atrial flutter), that the patient has noted in a diary or recorded via the monitor itself against the record of the 24-hour EKG. The Holter monitoring allows the doctor to look for abnormal heart rhythms that may indicate compromised blood supply to the heart.
Applying and removing the electrodes during the patient’s before-and-after visits is a quick procedure, requiring only a matter of minutes.
Common indications for ordering Holter monitoring include:
- Bundle Branch Block
- Atrial Flutter
- Cardiac Dysrhythmia
- Palpitations (PVC, PAC)