A Guide to Help You Get Ready
What is Holter Monitoring?
This is a recording of your heart rhythm. It
is done for 24 to 48 hours, while you go
about your daily life. It is very useful in
finding abnormal heart rhythms.
Why is a Holter Monitor used?
A Holter Monitor is used to record the
electrical activity of the heart. This
electrical activity is sometimes referred to as
a heart rhythm. An abnormal heart rhythm
is called an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a
change in either the speed or pattern of the
heartbeat. During this, your heart may beat
too fast, too slow, or without a pattern. The
Holter Monitor will monitor 24-28 hours of
your heart rhythm for analysis.
Holter Monitors allow your heart rhythm to
be recorded over 24 – 48 hours, while you
go about your daily life.
A Holter Monitor may be ordered to:
ξ Find arrhythmias that may not occur
during a standard ECG.
ξ Look for symptoms that come and go,
such as palpitations, dizzy spells, or
ξ See how well your medicine or
pacemaker treatment is working.
The Holter Monitor
The Holter Monitor is small and about the
size of a pager. It will be placed in a pouch
around your neck or waist. The Monitor has
a cable that attaches to five sticky patches,
called electrodes, which are place on
different areas of the chest. These
electrodes record the heart rhythm.
ξ The cable, associated leads, and
electrodes must remain attached for the
whole recording. If an electrode comes
off, clean the area and reattach the
electrode. You will be given extra
electrodes in case this occurs.
ξ Do not get the monitor, cable, leads or
electrodes wet. Do not swim, take a
bath, or shower while wearing the
ξ Try to sleep on your back, with the
recorder at your side. This will keep the
patches from being pulled off.
ξ Avoid electric blankets, magnets, metal
detectors, and high voltage areas such as
power lines. Signals from such devices
may affect the data.
Keeping a Diary
It is very important to keep a diary while
wearing the Holter Monitor. It allows your
activities and symptoms to be compared
with the ECG record.
You will need to record the date and time
and duration of the following:
ξ Exercise and physical activity
(walking/jogging/biking, yard work,
household chores, snow removal).
ξ Physical or emotional distress causing a
sudden increase in heart rate (stressful
conversation or argument).
ξ Symptoms such as dizziness or
lightheadedness, fainting, palpitations
or racing heart, shortness of breath,
or any chest pain/pressure or tightness
Returning the Holter Monitor
You will return the Holter Monitor in person
to the clinic where it was attached, or in the
self-addressed paid envelope (limited
situations). It is vital you return both the
Monitor and the associated cable. You
should remove all electrodes, tape and the
blue pouch prior to returning the Monitor.
The Holter Monitor Results
Once the Monitor is returned to us, the data
will be analyzed and provided to a UW
Health Cardiologist to interpret. Those
results will be provided to your doctor.
Your doctor will share the results and design
a treatment plan that is best for you.
For questions contact the Heart Station at
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 11/2016. University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#5488.