Your doctor has asked that you have a Holter monitor. This pamphlet answers some of the questions you may have about the tests.
Purpose of the test
- To check the heart rate (number of beats per minute)
- To check the regularity of the beats (the heart rhythm)
- To check for any reduced blood supply to the heart
- To check the effects of drugs or devices such as a pacemaker
Description of the test
A number of electrodes (adhesive patches) will be attached across the chest. Before attaching the electrodes, the skin will be cleaned and lightly sanded and, if necessary, the hair shaved or clipped. When first applied, the electrodes feel cold. The electrodes will be connected to the Holter monitor. The Holter monitor is about the size of a deck of cards and is very light. It is placed in a small pouch and is worn with a belt around the waist or on a shoulder strap. Your clothers are put on over the device and other people do not need to know that you are wearing the device. You will wear the monitor for 24 hours. During this time you will be asked to do your normal activities and record any symptoms (i.e. shortness of breath, irregular heart beats, chest pain) and activities (i.e. running, walking, eating, bowel movements) in a diary. While the monitor is on you MUST NOT adjust the recorder, sensors, cables or tapes, shower, bathe or swim.
How do I prepare for the test?
- Have a bath or shower the morning of the test.
- Do not put lotions or powders on your skin.
- Wear a loose fitting blouse or shirt that buttons down the front.
- Women should wear a comfortable bra; no long-line or full slips.
How long will the test take?
Allow one hour for the monitor to be put on. You will need to come back to the lab 24 hours later to have the monitor removed. Allow ½ hour for the monitor to be removed. Allow 2 hours for parking in case of delay.
After the test?
Some people may develop a slight rash where the electrodes were placed.
Where do I go for the Holter?
Cardiac Lab, 4nd Floor, Burrard Building
Phone Number: 605-806-9923