Holter Monitor

What is Holter Monitoring?

Holter monitoring is a painless way to record your heartbeat away from your doctor's office. It is a small, battery-operated electrocardiogram (ECG) machine that you carry with you. The device is about the size of a small, digital camera. Holter monitoring records your heartbeat for your doctor to review at a later time. You can receive your heart monitor in a hospital, test center, or doctor's office.

Your Holter monitor

When you receive a Holter monitor, your health care provider places small, painless pads (electrodes) on your chest. These connect to the lightweight unit, which attaches to a belt or shoulder strap. You need to keep the device on for at least 24 to 48 hours hours and complete a diary. While wearing the monitor, follow these tips:

  • Try to sleep on your back.
  • Don't take a shower. A sponge bath is OK.
  • Follow your normal routine. Don't avoid stress, work, or exercise. It is important to record your heartbeat during your normal activities.
  • If an electrode falls off or the unit makes noise, call your doctor to see what you should do.

When using a Holter monitor

Stay away from electric blankets, magnets, metal detectors, and high-voltage areas such as power lines. They may affect the recording.

Holter monitor diary

  • Write in the time of day for each entry you make.
  • Note each change in activity, including when you take medicine.
  • Note any symptoms you feel.