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24-Hour Holter Monitoring

What is a Holter Monitor?

A Holter Monitor is designed to record the rhythms of your heart.

Who needs a Holter Monitor?

You may need a Holter Monitor if you are having heart problems such as chest pain, heart palpitations, atrial fibrillation, starting new medication, or you have had  a past heart attack.

What to expect before the test

The Holter Monitor is a painless procedure. There is no special preparation to be take beforehand. However, you will be asked to shower or bathe before the test. Electrodes will be placed on your chest. Your chest area may be cleaned or shaved before the electrodes are applied.

What happens during the test?

Small electrodes are applied to your chest area. The electrodes are attached to a monitor that records your heart's activity during the 24 hour period. You will be asked to keep a diary or journal of your activities during the 24 hour period and at what times your performed the activity. For example, " I ate breakfast at 9:00am". It is very important you write everything down. This will help the doctor to be able to match up the heart reading at a particular time and what you were doing at that time. After 24 hours, return to the office to have the monitor removed.

There are no risks with taking this test. However, please do not get the monitor wet.
You will also want to avoid high voltage areas, magnets, electric blankets, and metal detectors.

Follow up with your doctor to go over your Holter Monitor results to determine what action will be taken next.

Source:, 2009

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