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A Holter monitor is a small device that records the electrical activity of your heart. You wear it while you do all your normal activities.
The monitor has wires that attach to small electrode pads. These pads are taped to your chest.
This kind of machine has many different names. It is sometimes called an ambulatory monitor, an ambulatory electrocardiogram, or an ambulatory ECG. It can also be called a 24-hour ECG or a cardiac event monitor.
You may have this test to find out if you have a problem with your heart. Many heart problems can only be noticed when you are doing something. They may happen when you exercise, eat, have sex, or sleep. Or they may happen when you have a bowel movement or you feel stressed. Your Holter monitor will record the way your heart beats during all of these activities.
Holter monitoring also will:
The pads may make your skin itch a little. And your skin may look or feel irritated after the pads are removed.
Most people wear the monitor for 24 to 48 hours. Some people wear it longer than 48 hours.
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Current as of: September 7, 2022
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Rakesh K. Pai MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology & E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine
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