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For some cardiovascular patients, being able to capture and evaluate their heart function data over a prolonged period of time (usually 24-72 hours) can provide the exact kind of intelligence our doctors need to make informed treatment decisions.

At Northwest Regional Heart and Vascular, patients experiencing chest pain, irregular heartbeat, or other signs and symptoms of heart disease, may be placed on a Holter Monitor.

This diagnostic tool is particularly helpful when an electrocardiogram fails to provide enough information or when your doctor wants to gain a broader view of your overall heart rhythm function.

What is a Holter Monitor?

The Holter Monitor is a small, battery-powered and wearable machine that tracks and records all of a patient’s heartbeats during normal activities, within a set period of time.

The monitor is worn by patient while at home, and at all times during the testing period.

How it works:

  1. Three electrodes (painless electrical conductors) are attached to a patient’s chest and connected to a portable recorder by small, electrical wires.
  1. Patients go about their daily lives and all resting activities are monitored and recorded, excluding showering, swimming, or any activity that would cause excessive sweating (as water can cause the electrodes to loosen or detach).
  1. Generally the monitor (a small wearable device that resembles a portable music player) is attached to the waist or worn around the neck.
  1. At the end of the testing period, the monitor is returned to the physician so that the information can be evaluated.

What are the two types of Holter Monitoring Systems?

Based on your symptoms and medical history, your doctor may recommend one of two approaches to Holter monitoring:

  • Continuous Recording In this approach, the Holter Monitor records the continuous beating of the heart during the testing period. This unabridged data allows doctors to pinpoint any abnormalities in the heart rhythm.
  • Loop Recording With this approach (also called an event monitor) patients press a button to record the echo sample whenever they feel symptoms (e.g. dizziness, chest pain, fluttering). This signals the Holter Monitor to record the symptomatic event as it is happening.

Is Holter Monitoring right for you?

Holter monitoring can be done when arrhythmia (an irregular heartbeat) is suspected but not seen on an echocardiogram test. Because arrhythmias can occur in passing, or when a patient is being more active, they can go undetected unless longer, more active testing is done.

To see if your symptoms indicate Holter Monitoring, call to schedule an appointment with a Northwest Regional Heart and Vascular specialist in your area.

To schedule an appointment in Portland, please call 503-257-0959.

To schedule an appointment in Tillamook, please call 503-815-2292.