The Holter monitor is a small wearable device usually worn for one to three days that records every single heartbeat. During this time, the device monitors heart rhythm and can alert physicians of any rhythmic problems. The Holter monitor is a type of electrocardiogram (EKG) used to monitor the EKG tracing continuously for a period of 24 hours or longer.
A standard or “resting” EKG is one of the simplest and fastest procedures used to evaluate the heart. Electrodes (small, plastic patches) are placed at certain locations on the chest and abdomen. When the electrodes are connected to an EKG machine by lead wires, the electrical activity of the heart is measured, interpreted, and printed out for the doctor’s information and further interpretation.
When symptoms, such as dizziness, fainting, low blood pressure, prolonged fatigue, and palpitations, continue to occur without a definitive diagnosis obtained with a resting EKG, your doctor may request an EKG tracing to be run over a long period of time, using the Holter monitor.
The Holter monitor records continuously for the entire period of 24 to 48 hours. Some Holter monitors may record continuously but also have an event monitor feature that you activate when symptoms begin to occur.
The Holter monitor is a noninvasive method of assessing the heart’s function and risks associated with the Holter monitor are rare.Previous Page Last Review Date: January 5, 2018