ECG Holter Monitor

Holter ECG monitor is an important examination in cardiology that can help to diagnose a range of heart diseases without hospitalization.

Principle

The patient gets a small box, which is attached to the chest by electrodes. The patient can go home and has the box attached for at least 24 hours. It is important that the examined should perform regular daily activities. It is advisable to write down the time of any activities or the time when any subjective symptoms occurred (palpitations, fatigue, dizziness, etc.). The box is in fact a special ECG machine that continuously scans and records the patient's ECG.

After the given time period, the examined person returns the box back to the physician who checks the recording. The record helps us to find any periodic arrhythmias and thanks to the information that the patient wrote down, it is also possible determine any triggering situations and activities.

Preparation

The examination does not require any special preparation. However, during the examination, the patient should avoid direct contact with water, which can damage or even destroy the Holter device. Some doctors ask the patient to bring own batteries that keep the machine working.

Indications

Holter ECG is great in diagnosis of transient arrhythmias. It is valuable in patients with recurring palpitations and-or periods of short-term unconsciousness who has a normal ECG record when examined by a doctor. However, normal ECG recording does not rule out short periods of arrhythmias that require a much longer ECG monitoring to increase the chance of their finding.

Disadvantages

The patient must wear the device without any break, which may somehow bothering. The device shall not come into direct contact with water, which temporary limits the patient in personal hygiene.

Advantages

Holter ECG allows long-term monitoring of the patient's cardiac rhythm without the need to spend the time in hospital. It does not expose the patient to radiation and it is completely painless.