A Holter monitor is a battery-operated external heart monitor that acts as a continuous EKG. Just like with a regular EKG, leads are attached to the patient’s chest, however the Holter monitor is portable, and patients can bring it with them everywhere they go – for up to three days. During this time the Holter monitor records the heartbeat and heart rhythm.
The data can then be transmitted back to our office where it is downloaded and analyzed.
Typically, we use a Holter monitor to learn more about:
- Patient complaints about an irregular heartbeat
- The effectiveness of medical therapy for an arrhythmia
- Unexplained fainting or syncope
The Holter monitor comes with absolutely no risk and offers a great deal of additional data above and beyond the EKG. However, it is not suitable for longer term use as it can be quite cumbersome to the patient. That said it also does not record long enough for patients who may have very occasional Afib episodes.
While Holter monitoring can be useful for patients who experience Afib somewhat regularly, we may opt for a loop recorder or event monitor which can offer more long-term data.
Of course, speaking to your electrophysiologist about a Holter monitor is the first step in understanding if it’s the right diagnostic solution for your situation. Dr. Banker will discuss how often you experience arrhythmic episodes and decide if this is the best next step for you.