When an in-office electrocardiogram (EKG) fails to provide enough information to explain your irregular heartbeat, you may need a Holter monitor test. The test tracks the electrical activity of your heart over a period of time. Carolina Heart and Leg Center in Fayetteville, Lumberton, Erwin, and Saint Pauls, North Carolina, is a state-of-the-art cardiology practice that offers advanced diagnostic testing, including the Holter monitor. Hari Saini, MD, a board-certified interventional cardiologist, and the team use the information gathered from a Holter monitor to diagnose and treat heart arrhythmias. To find out more, call or schedule an appointment online today.
What is a Holter monitor?
A Holter monitor is a portable electrocardiogram (EKG). About the size of a camera, the Holter monitor tracks the electrical activity of your heart over a period of time, usually 24 to 48 hours.
When you visit Carolina Heart and Leg Center for a heart health evaluation, the team may perform an EKG to assess the electrical activity of your heart. However, a single in-office EKG may not provide a full picture of your cardiac activity, making it hard for the team to confirm a diagnosis.
The Holter monitor collects more data about your heart, helping the team better understand your heart health needs.
Who needs a Holter monitor?
The Carolina Heart and Leg Center team determines who needs a Holter monitor after a consultation. The team may recommend a Holter monitor if your in-office EKG fails to provide conclusive data about your heart condition.
They recommend the Holter monitor to gather more information about an irregular heartbeat, also called cardiac arrhythmia. The Holter monitor tracks the rhythm of your heartbeat over a period of time, allowing the team to determine the cause of your arrhythmia.
You may also need a Holter monitor to assess the effectiveness of the medication you take for your heart condition.
The team at Carolina Heart and Leg Center may also recommend a Holter monitor test if you have symptoms like fainting or dizziness and want to determine if your symptoms are related to an underlying heart condition or not.
What happens during a Holter monitor test?
Your Holter monitor test starts at the office. The team requests you shower before your appointment. Once the test starts, the monitoring device must remain on your skin for the length of your test to get the most accurate results.
At Carolina Heart and Leg Center, the team places the electrodes on your chest and attaches them to the Holter monitor, which you wear on your waist or around your shoulder. After placement, the team encourages you to go about your usual day while keeping a diary of your activities.
What happens after a Holter monitor test?
Once the test is over, you return to Carolina Heart and Leg Center, and the team removes the electrodes and downloads the information from the Holter monitor.
They schedule a follow-up appointment to discuss the findings from your Holter monitor test and provide treatment recommendations.
To schedule a consultation with the structural heart specialists at Carolina Heart and Leg Center to discuss tests like the Holter monitor, call the office nearest you or schedule a consultation online today.