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Holter Monitor

The Holter Monitor (also known as ambulatory electrocardiography device) is a device worn at home and at work which is used for continuous monitoring of heart rate and rhythm for 24, 48, or 72  hours. The Holter Monitor test allows your daily heart rhythm to be analyzed. A diary of routines is also kept to correlate activity to heart rhythm and rate and is widely used in patients with suspected or known heart disease. The extended recording period is used to identify occasional rhythm disturbances that would be difficult to identify in a shorter period of time as they come and go at various times throughout the day or night. The digital Holter is often used to find correlation between any abnormal rhythm and the patient’s symptoms, such as dizziness, palpitations, and shortness of breath or chest pain.



How to prepare for the test?


There is no special preparation for the test. Make sure you shower or bathe before the electrodes are applied to your chest, since you won’t be able to do these activities while the test is in progress.

Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any adhesives.

Please wear loose-fitting clothes. Buttons down the front of a shirt or blouse is preferable. This makes it convenient to apply the ECG electrodes, and also comfortably carry the monitor in a relatively discreet manner. No synthetic materials should be worn.

Some patients may be asked to have their chest shaved so the electrodes can stick.


Holter Monitor FAQ


The Holter Monitor (also known as ambulatory electrocardiography device) is a device worn at home and at work which is used for continuous monitoring of heart rate and rhythm for 24, 48, or 72  hours.

The Holter Monitor test allows your daily heart rhythm to be analyzed. A diary of routines is also kept to correlate activity to heart rhythm and rate. This test is widely used in patients with suspected or known heart disease. The extended recording period is used to identify occasional rhythm disturbances that would be difficult to identify in a shorter period of time as they come and go at various times throughout the day or night. The digital Holter is often used to find correlation between any abnormal rhythm and the patient’s symptoms, such as dizziness, palpitations, shortness of breath, or chest pain.

The digital Holter Monitor records electrical signals via a series of electrodes attached to the chest.

Electrodes will be applied to your chest and connected to wires attached to an ECG machine. This small Holter ECG is carried in a small pouch worn around your neck or waist. The staff at our patient centre will attach the electrodes to your chest and explain the procedure to you.

You may be asked to keep a diary of activities (running, sleeping) you do while wearing the digital recorder. It is important that you accurately record symptoms and times they occur so that the doctor can match them with your Holter test findings.

The digital Holter Monitor continuously records and stores data for a one day period, or longer as requested by your doctor. When recording is obtained, you return the device to the same Patient Service Centre and all wires and electrodes are removed.

To locate Alpha’s Patient Service Centres click on Patient Service Centre Locator for a complete listing, including addresses, phone numbers, hours of operation, Google map and directions.

You must make an appointment for a Holter Monitor test. Please see Patient Service Centre Locator for details of hours of operation, addresses, phone numbers and map for our PSCs and call the location of your choice to schedule an appointment.

You will need to bring a completed laboratory test requisition which has been signed by your doctor, and your health insurance card.

It takes about 10-15 minutes for our staff to attach the electrodes to your chest and provide an explanation of the procedure. At the end of the continuous monitoring period requested by your doctor you must return to the same Patient Service Centre to disconnect the electrodes and return the Holter Monitor.

A Holter ECG is a non-invasive test.

Special considerations:

  • The  Holter Monitor may not be used in the shower.
  • Electrodes must be firmly attached to the chest – it is not allowed to remove the device or the electrodes so the equipment gets an accurate recording of the heart’s activity.
  • Avoid magnets, metal detectors, electric blankets and high-voltage areas while wearing the digital holter.

When a Holter monitoring study is complete, the data is sent to a lab where a report is created and sent to your doctor. Your doctor then uses the information provided by the Holter monitor to diagnose and recommend further treatment for you.