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Holter Monitor

holterA holter monitor records the heartbeat continuously for 24 to 48 hours. Such prolonged monitoring may enable the cardiologist to correlate the patient's symptoms with the heart rhythm at the time the symptoms were felt. This correlation is critically important in making a diagnosis in a person complaining of palpitations and dizzy spells.

If no symptoms occur during the holter recording period, more prolonged monitoring may be necessary with other devices such as portable or implantable event recorders.

The Holter Monitor Procedure

Four electrodes will be placed on your chest and connected to a holter recorder (about the size of a matchbox). This recorder fits in a pouch, which straps around the waist, under the clothes. You cannot shower, bathe or use an electric blanket while the recording is being made.

After the test

The recording is analysed using a specific computer programme. A report is provided to the referring doctor who interprets it in conjunction with the patient's symptoms. A letter recommending further investigation or treatment as indicated is then sent to the patient and the referring GP.

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