What is Heart Holter?
A Holter monitor, or simply a Holter, is a portable device used to continuously monitor and record the electrical activity of the heart over an extended period, typically 24 to 48 hours or even longer. The test is known as a Holter monitor test or Holter study.
The main purpose of a Holter monitor is to capture and record any irregularities or abnormalities in the heart’s rhythm that may not be detected during a standard electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) performed in a healthcare provider’s office. While a standard ECG provides a snapshot of the heart’s electrical activity at a specific moment, a Holter monitor offers a continuous recording over an extended period, allowing healthcare professionals to assess the heart’s function during normal daily activities.
How Process of Heart Holter Test Performed?
Application of Electrodes: Small adhesive electrodes are placed on the chest, and they are connected to the Holter monitor device. The electrodes detect and transmit the electrical signals produced by the heart.
Wearing the Holter Monitor: The patient wears the Holter monitor, which is a small, portable device usually worn on a belt or attached to a shoulder strap. The device is lightweight and designed to be worn inconspicuously.
Continuous Monitoring: The Holter monitor continuously records the heart’s electrical activity, capturing data for the entire monitoring period, which can range from 24 hours to several days.
Normal Activities: During the monitoring period, the patient is encouraged to go about their normal daily activities. Keeping a diary of activities and symptoms can help healthcare providers correlate any symptoms with changes in the heart’s rhythm.
Return and Analysis: After the monitoring period is complete, the patient returns the Holter monitor to their healthcare provider. The recorded data is then analyzed to identify any irregularities, such as arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms) or other cardiac issues.