Twenty-four hour Holter monitoring is a test to record electrical activity of heart continuously over 24 hrs or longer. It is also sometimes called ambulatory electrocardiography, it is more like a portable electrocardiogram ( ECG) It is a battery operated device, you wear. The device has wires that connect to electrodes and leads attached to your chest which conduct heart’s activity through the wires and into the Holter monitor, where it’s recorded.
Indications for Holter Monitor
- To check for arrhythmias i.e either fast , slow or irregular heartbeats
- To evaluate chest pain that can't be reproduced with exercise testing
- To evaluate heart-related signs and symptoms, such as tiredness, shortness of breath, dizziness, or fainting
- To check how well treatment or medicines working
- To monitor efficacy of pacemaker
Parts of Holter
Holter system consists of two basic parts –
- Hardware (called monitor or recorder) for recording the signal,
- Software for review and analysis of the record.
- Technician will attach the Holter monitor and instruct how to record your symptoms while wearing it.
- There is no diet restrictions
- Take a bath or shower before your appointment to have the monitor fitted and don’t apply any lotions or creams.
- Avoid activities that might lead to the monitor getting wet.
- A Holter monitor recording is generally done on an outpatient basis
- You will be asked to remove any jewellery or other objects that may interfere with the reading.
- The areas of the chest where the electrodes patches are placed are cleaned, hair may be shaved so that the electrodes stick closely to the skin.
- Several leads, or wires, are attached to the monitor. The leads connect to electrodes placed on the chest with a glue-like gel. The metal electrodes conduct your heart’s activity through the wires and into the Holter monitor, where it’s recorded.
- You can carry the monitor in a pocket, slung across your shoulders
- You can return to your usual activities, such as work, household chores, and exercise,
- It is important to keep a accurate note of your activities and symptoms during the test
- If you feel symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats or dizziness, note in your diary the time of day they began and what you were doing.
After the procedure
- There is no special care after a Holter monitor recording.
- After the test period, return the monitor to the technician.
- They will process the record of your heart activity and prepare a report for your doctor.
- Your notes will be compared to the changes in your ECG recorded by the Holter monitor
Complications of Holter testing
- Wearing a Holter monitor has no risks and causes no pain.
- It can be hard to keep the electrodes stuck to your skin, and extra tape may be needed.
- Because the electrodes are attached with tape or adhesives, they may cause mild skin irritation.
Factors affecting the Cost Of 24 Hr Holter Monitor
Cost to the patient depends on variety of factors like :
- The hospital patient chooses
- Fees for the test and cardiologist
- Cost of follow -up procedure if required.