When you have worrisome symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, or shortness of breath, you may need Holter monitoring to create a record of your heartbeat over the course of a day or longer. The board-certified team at Cardiology Associates of Frederick performs a range of diagnostic tests in the office, but abnormal heart rhythms often come and go and may not be detected during an on-site electrocardiogram (ECG). That’s when you need Holter monitoring. To learn more about Holter monitoring, call the office in Frederick, Maryland, or schedule an appointment online today.
Holter monitoring allows your provider at Cardiology Associates of Frederick to track your heart’s electrical activity as you go about your daily activities.
The Holter monitor, also called an ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG), is a small device that you can wear around your neck or waist. The device connects to electrodes that your provider places on your chest.
The electrodes transmit your ECG to the Holter monitor, which continuously records the electrical activity for 24-48 hours or longer.
Similar devices called event monitors capture your ECG, but only when you feel symptoms and activate the device to start recording.
When you have heart-related symptoms such as chest pain, heart palpitations, dizziness, or shortness of breath, an ECG is one of the first diagnostic tests performed by your provider at Cardiology Associates of Frederick.
But an ECG done in the office records your heart rate for only a short time. As a result, it can miss heart problems that come and go.
Your Holter monitor produces the information your provider needs to diagnose an abnormal heart rhythm, such as a slow, fast, or irregular heartbeat.
Though diagnosing an arrhythmia is the most common reason for wearing a Holter monitor, your provider may also use the device to determine if your pacemaker, defibrillator, or heart medications are working the way they should.
During your office visit, your provider or a trained technician applies electrodes to your chest. Then they connect the electrode to the monitor, and you simply wear the monitor as you go throughout the day.
Though you can participate in most of your normal activities, there are some exceptions. For example, you can’t get the electrodes or the monitor wet. Your provider tells you all the instructions when you get the monitor.
They may also ask you to keep a diary while you wear the monitor. You’ll need to keep short notes about your activities and when they occurred.
After your test is finished, your provider evaluates the results and compares the ECG to your activity diary. In many cases, they can diagnose your heart condition based on the Holter monitor results, but sometimes additional diagnostic tests are needed.
If you experience chest pain or difficulty breathing, call Cardiology Associates of Frederick or request an appointment online today.