Holter/Event Monitor

A Holter monitor is a small, wearable device that keeps track of your heart rhythm. Your doctor may want you to wear a Holter monitor for one to two days. During that time, the device records all of your heartbeats.

A Holter monitor test is usually performed after a traditional test to check your heart rhythm (electrocardiogram), especially if the electrocardiogram doesn’t give your doctor enough information about your heart’s condition.

Your doctor uses information captured on the Holter monitor to figure out if you have a heart rhythm problem. If standard Holter monitoring doesn’t capture your irregular heartbeat, your doctor may suggest a wireless Holter monitor, which can work for weeks.

Some personal devices, such as smart watches, offer electrocardiogram monitoring. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you.

An event monitor is very similar to a Holter monitor. Holter monitors record continuously, usually for about 24 to 48 hours. An event monitor does not record continuously. Instead, it records when you activate it while you are having symptoms or “Events”.

Some event monitors will automatically start recording if an abnormal heart rhythm is detected.

Event monitors can be worn for 30 days or longer.

Why would I need a heart monitor?

If you have signs or symptoms of a heart problem, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia) or unexplained fainting, your doctor may order a test called an electrocardiogram. An electrocardiogram is a brief, noninvasive test that uses electrodes taped to your chest to check your heart’s rhythm.

However, sometimes an electrocardiogram doesn’t detect any irregularities in your heart rhythm because you’re hooked up to the machine for only a short time. If your signs and symptoms suggest that an occasionally irregular heart rhythm may be causing your condition, your doctor may recommend that you wear a Holter monitor for a day or so.

Over that time, the Holter monitor may be able to detect irregularities in your heart rhythm that an electrocardiogram couldn’t detect.

Your doctor may also order a Holter monitor if you have a heart condition that increases your risk of an abnormal heart rhythm. Your doctor may suggest you wear a Holter monitor for a day or two, even if you haven’t had any symptoms of an abnormal heartbeat.

If you are already being treated for an abnormal heart rhythm, your event monitor may be used to see how well it is working.

You may need an event monitor to evaluate certain kinds of temporary symptoms like:

  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations
  • Fainting

How do I get started?

Contact San Tan Cardiovascular Center today to make an appointment with one of our healthcare providers.

At this appointment:

  • we will review your medical history, discuss your symptoms and perform a non-invasive, diagnostic test to further determine your medical condition,
  • any pertinent testing that needs to be done beforehand will also be ordered at this time.

Our billing department will then contact your health insurance company to obtain prior authorization.  Upon receiving insurance authorization, the device will be ordered.

Heart Monitor FAQs

Q: What happens after I wear the monitor?

A:  Most of these devices can transmit the recorded information directly to your healthcare provider. This allows your provider to analyze the electrical activity of your heart while you are having symptoms.

After a few readings, you may be able to stop wearing your event monitor. Your provider may use those readings to start your treatment. In some cases, more testing maybe needed. Follow-up tests might include:

  • Exercise stress test, to see how the heart responds to exercise
  • Tilt-table test, if you have had fainting
  • Electrophysiological testing, to get more information about the heart’s electrical signal
  • Echocardiogram, evaluate the structure and pumping function of the heart