What is Holter Monitoring?
The holter monitor is a small compact magnetic tape electrocardiographic recorder. Electrodes are placed on the skin of the chest beneath the patient's clothing and an ECG record is obtained over a 24 hour period. The recorder is returned the following day and the total ECG record is retrieved from the magnetic tape and interpreted by the physician. This technology is helpful in the diagnosis of paroxysmal (intermittent) rhythm disturbances and essential for selecting proper treatment and at times for evaluating the subsequent outcome on treatment.
When wearing the holter monitor a patient is given a log or diary to write down any symptoms they feel while wearing the monitor. Being as accurate as possible with symptoms and the time they occurred will help the physician identify if there are any "electrical" problems with the heart which require correction.
Patients with heart rhythm irregularities (palpitations) or slow (bradycardia) or rapid (tachycardia) heart rhythms, which are not documented on the routine electrocardiogram (ECG), will usually require some type of home (ambulatory) documentation.
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