Get Your Heart Tested With 24-Hour Holter Monitoring
A Holter monitor is a device that painlessly records the electrical activity of the heart for a continuous period of 24 to 48 hours. Also called 24-hour EKG or a continuous EKG, 24-hour Holter monitoring helps doctors evaluate the strength, pattern and speed of your heartbeats.
At UPMC's Heart and Vascular Institute, we offer the latest medical technology, such as Holter monitoring, to diagnose a wide range of heart conditions.
Why a Holter Monitor Is Used
Your doctor may recommend 24-hour Holter monitoring to diagnose and monitor an abnormal heartbeat or heart disease. The main benefit of a Holter monitor is the length of time it can record your heart’s electrical activity. A standard EKG can only show your heart’s activity for a short period of time. A Holter monitor is able to pick up abnormalities over a long period of time, allowing your doctor to get a better picture of how your heart functions.
What to Expect With Holter Monitoring at UPMC
Your cardiologist will order a 24-hour Holter monitoring test, but a nurse or technician will be the one to administer the device and show you how to use it during the testing period. Sticky electrodes will be attached to your chest (these are painless), which are attached to the monitor (about the size of a smartphone). The monitor will be clipped to your belt or carried in a pouch around your neck or over your shoulder.
You’ll continue your normal daily activities while wearing the monitor. In some cases, your doctor may limit your activities based on your specific condition. It’s important that you don’t get the monitor wet, so you will need to avoid showering or bathing during the test. You’ll keep a log of your activities and share them with your doctor once the testing period is complete. If you have any symptoms during the test, your doctor may have you push a button on the monitor to mark the exact time of your symptoms. This gives your doctor an accurate record when evaluating your results.
Once the test is complete, you’ll go back to the doctor’s office and the monitor and electrodes will be removed by a nurse or technician. Holter monitoring is very safe and there are no known risks associated with it.
The Results of Your Holter Monitor Test
The results of your test will help your doctor determine:
- How effective your medications are in controlling your heart problem
- If you have any irregularities in your heart rhythm (fast or slow heartbeat)
- How well your heart performs during physical exertion and rest
- If there is reduced blood and oxygen to your heart that may be caused by heart disease
To request an appointment for 24-hour Holter monitoring, speak with a cardiology provider at UPMC.
Experienced cardiology specialists at UPMC's Heart and Vascular Institute utilize the latest technology for Holter monitoring Williamsport, PA, and the surrounding areas.