Cardiovascular Test: Holter Monitor

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What is the Holter monitor test and what does it look for?

Cardiovascular Test: Holter Monitor

One of the simplest and least invasive cardiovascular tests is the Holter monitor test. This small machine is worn attached to the body, generally over your shoulder or strapped to your belt. Typically worn for a 24-hour period, the Holter monitor records your heart's activity through electrodes worn on your chest.

The purpose of Holter monitoring is to detect and record changes in your heart's rhythm. Because some of these changes might not be detected during an in-office electrocardiogram (EKG), the Holter monitor gives your doctor a window into your heart's "daily life."

Besides the monitor recording your heart's activity, you will be asked to keep a journal of how you're feeling throughout the 24-hour period. Using the tape from the Holter monitor and your journal, the doctor should be able to get a good idea how your heart is functioning.

If your doctor notices a significant amount of rhythm changes in your heartbeat, he may diagnose you with irregular heart beat, also known as arrhythmia.

   

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