A Holter heart monitor is a small, battery-powered device that records a patient’s heart rhythm for a continuous length of time, usually 24 – 48 hours. The monitor is small enough to be carried in a pocket, worn around the patient’s neck or waist. This painless diagnostic test utilizes small electrodes (circular sticky patches that attach to the patient’s chest) that are connected to the recording monitor. After the monitoring period, a physician examines and evaluates the recorded data.
Sometimes, patients may be asked to document their activities while wearing the monitor and record how they felt during these activities. Physicians may use Holter heart monitoring to help diagnose conditions such as atrial fibrillation or to see how well the heart is functioning after a heart attack. Depending on symptoms, other types of cardiac monitoring may also be ordered to help assess symptoms. These devices, such as an event monitor or Ziopatch, may be worn for an extended time to gather additional data.
- Medline Plus “Holter Heart Monitor.”