Holter Monitor

A Holter Monitor is a portable device that is worn during normal activity. It can record continuous electrocardiogram (EKG) information on a tape inside the machine for a 24-hour period.

This procedure is most often used:

  • to identify abnormal heart rhythms
  • to help detect cardiac ischemia (decreased blood flow to the heart)
  • to evaluate the effectiveness of certain heart medications.

Test procedure:

  • The Holter Monitor is small and portable, about the size of a deck of cards. It will be placed in a pouch and worn around your neck.
  • Electrodes (small, adhesive patches) will be attached to your chest with tape and connected to the Holter Monitor machine by lead wires.
  • You will be sent home with the monitor where you can do your normal activities, (cleaning, exercising, working) unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.
  • You cannot swim, take a shower or bath while wearing the monitor.
  • You will be asked to write down any symptoms (chest pain, palpitations), if any, you experience while wearing the monitor and the time they occurred. This will help your physician identify whether a cardiac abnormality is causing the reported symptoms.
  • After a designated time period, typically 24 hours, you will return the monitor to your physician's office. The tape will be played back and analyzed by a technician who forwards a report to your doctor for final interpretation.

While wearing the Holter Monitor, avoid the use of the following as they may interfere with the EKG recording:

  • electric razors
  • electric toothbrushes
  • hairdryers
  • magnets
  • metal detectors
  • electric blankets