Holter analysis is done with the help of a Holter monitor which is a type of ambulatory electrocardiography device for cardiac monitoring for at least 24 hours.
Some facts about Holter analysis:
Holter monitor is a small, portable, wearable device that records the rhythm of your heart.
The risk of irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias) can be detect or determined by Holter analysis.
A Holter analysis may be done if enough details about the heart's condition is not provided by a traditional electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG)
A Holter monitor may be able to spot irregular heart rhythms that is missed by an ECG.
A longer term monitor called an event recorder may be needed if the irregular heartbeats are infrequent.
Appliances like Electric blankets, Electric razors and toothbrushes, Magnets, Metal detectors and Microwave ovens should be avoided as the signal from the electrodes to the Holter monitor may be interrupted by these devices.
Cellphones and portable music players must be kept at least 6 inches from the Holter monitor for the same reason.
Although, there are no significant risks involved in wearing a Holter monitor, minor discomfort or skin irritation is experienced by some people where the sensors (electrodes) were placed.
Preparation for Holter analysis:
A Holter monitor will be placed during a scheduled appointment at a care provider's office.
Plan to bathe before this appointment as most monitors can't be removed and must be kept dry once monitoring begins.
Sensors (electrodes) will be placed on your chest which detect the heartbeat.
These electrodes are about the size of a silver dollar
Some of your hair on your chest may be shaved to make sure the electrodes stick.
The Holter monitor recording device will be connected by wires attached to the electrodes.
You can leave your provider's office and return to everyday activities once your Holter monitor is fitted and you've received instructions on how to wear it
Procedure for Holter analysis:
A Holter monitor is usually worn for 1 to 2 days and all of the heartbeats will be recorded during that time.
Holter monitoring is painless, noninvasive and is worn on a belt or attached to a strap.
The sensors and wires can be hidden under clothing.
It must be worn during the entire recording period, even while sleeping.
You can do most other daily activities while you wear a Holter monitor, unless your provider tells you otherwise.
Symptoms like Pounding, fluttering or skipped heartbeats, shortness of breath, chest pain and lightheadedness must be moted.
You need to return the device to your health care provider's office once your monitoring period is over.
The Holter monitor's data can be compared with your notes if you were asked to keep a record of symptoms that you had while wearing the device which can help your provider make an accurate diagnosis.
A wireless Holter monitor or an event recorder may be recommended if you didn't have any irregular heart rhythms while you wore the monitor.
Both of these can be worn longer than a standard Holter monitor.
Event recorders are similar to Holter monitors.
Generally it require you to push a button when you feel symptoms.