Dr Mark Kennedy - Private Internal Medicine Specialist
A Holter monitor records the heartbeat continuously for 24 hours. This is a small ECG (electrocardiogram) monitor that you wear for 24 hours, and which enables your heart rhythm to be recorded continuously over that time. It is particularly useful if you have had symptoms of palpitations (abnormal awareness of heart beats). You keep a diary of your symptoms and activity during the period of cardiac monitoring. We are able to correlate your symptoms with your heart rhythm at the time that you experience symptoms. Every heart beat that occurs during the 24-hour period is analysed. Such prolonged monitoring may enable the cardiologist to correlate the patient's symptoms with the heart rhythm at the time the symptoms were felt. This correlation is critically important in making a diagnosis in a person complaining of palpitations and dizzy spells.
If no symptoms occur during the Holter recording period, more prolonged monitoring may be necessary with other devices such as portable or implantable event recorders.
The Holter Monitor Procedure:
Four electrodes will be placed on your chest and connected to a Holter recorder (about the size of a matchbox). This recorder fits in a pouch, which straps around the waist, under the clothes. You cannot shower, bathe or use an electric blanket while the recording is being made.
After the test:
The recording is analysed by a cardiac physiologist in Auckland using a specific computer programme. You are seen in a follow up appointment with Dr Kennedy once the report is available and a copy of the report is sent to your doctor. A letter recommending further investigation or treatment as indicated is then sent to the patient and the referring GP.
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This page was last updated at 11:19AM on May 13, 2019.