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HOLTER MONITOR-

A Holter monitor is a small, battery-operated portable device that measures and records your heart's activity (ECG) continuously for 24 to 48 hours. During that time, the device records all of your heartbeats.

Holter monitor may be necessary to assess such symptoms as: palpitations, fainting, chest pain. The purpose of this test is to detect rhythm abnormality that an electrocardiogram could not detect.

There are no risks involved in wearing a Holter monitor other than possible discomfort or skin irritation where the electrodes were placed.

However, the Holter monitor can't get wet, or it will be damaged. Don't swim or bathe for the entire time you're wearing your Holter monitor. Holter monitors aren't usually affected by other electrical appliances. But avoid metal detectors, magnets, microwave ovens, electric blankets, and electric razors and toothbrushes while wearing one because these devices can interrupt the signal from the electrodes to the Holter monitor. Also, keep your cellphones and portable music players at least 6 inches from the monitor for the same reason.

If standard Holter monitoring doesn't capture your irregular heartbeat, your doctor may suggest a wireless Holter monitor, which can work for weeksIf 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.