Holter monitoring is a cardiac test that New York’s Premier Cardiology Consultants may recommend if a standard EKG doesn’t provide enough detail about your heart health. The team explains the benefits of Holter monitoring and why they may recommend this painless but lengthy diagnostic study.
What is Holter monitoring?
A Holter monitoring test tracks your heart’s electrical activity throughout your daily routine. During the study, which can identify dangerous arrhythmias, a small battery-powered device continuously records your heart rate and rhythm for 24 to 72 hours.
Named for Dr. Norman J. Holter, who invented it in the 1950s, the portable monitor is about the size of a small cellphone. Thin wires (leads) attached to your chest with sticky patches (electrodes) capture the information and transmit it to the monitor.
You also keep a diary during the study that briefly lists your daily activities and the time you experienced symptoms. At the end of the study, you return the Holter monitor to the office at Premier Cardiology Consultants.
Your specialist then analyzes the data from the monitor and compares that to your symptoms before developing a plan that may include treatment or further diagnostic studies.
Why would I need Holter monitoring versus a standard EKG?
Holter monitoring is essentially an extended version of a standard EKG (electrocardiogram) but portable enough that you can wear it throughout your day.
A traditional in-office EKG captures about 60 seconds’ worth of information about your heart rate and rhythm. This information may provide enough details to guide further treatment choices, especially if you’re experiencing a heart attack or other cardiac event.
However, a standard EKG may not reveal an abnormal rhythm or other irregularities affecting your heart function unless your symptoms are continuous or at least occurring at the time of the in-office study. If you keep an accurate and detailed activity log, Holter monitoring lasts long enough that your specialist gains insight into how your heart responds to rest, exercise, or emotional stress.
You may benefit from Holter monitoring if you’re experiencing:
A Holter monitor can also pick up abnormal rhythms you may not detect as symptoms during your daily routine.
Do I have to wear a Holter monitor continuously?
Once you start a Holter monitoring test, the electrodes must remain on your chest to ensure efficacy. The monitor may be worn on a lanyard around the neck and tucked away behind a shirt, blouse, or jacket. You can also attach it to your belt or waistband.
Many clothing styles hide the monitor’s wires and electrodes. However, wireless models are available, which your provider may recommend if your condition or symptoms require extended monitoring.
Schedule an evaluation at Premier Cardiology Consultants today for outstanding cardiac services that may include Holter monitoring. Call the nearest office or contact us using our secure online services.