A holter monitor or ambulatory electrocardiography device is a portable equipment that is used to monitor electrical activity of the heart. There are a series of electrodes attached to the chest of the patient that can record electrical signals from the heart. There is a recording monitor that can be carried in the pocket or worn around the neck. The patient's EKG for 24 hours is recorded. Values such as average heart rate, maximum and minimum heart rate are calculated. ECG tracing using Holter monitor is conducted on patients who suffer prolonged fatigue and episodes of low blood pressure and fainting.
A Holter monitor aids in recording any abnormal activity of the heart. The Holter monitor is worn by the patient as he/she goes about his daily routine. It is possible to observe occasional cardiac arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation and atrial tachycardia with a Holter monitor. This device is also advised for patients who have suffered a heart attack or under cardiac medication. A Holter monitor aids in monitoring the performance of a heart pacemaker. Smoking and close proximity to devices such as magnets and metal detectors and some electrical appliances can affect the Holter monitor readings.
Cardiac event monitor
The cardiac event monitor is a small device that is used to record the electrical activity of the heart. The cardiac event monitoring test allows for on-demand heart monitoring outside the hospital/clinic settings when symptoms are noted by the patient as he/she goes through the normal routine. The information collected by a cardiac event monitor is often sent over the phone to a doctor's office, clinic or hospital. This helps the doctor choose a line of treatment to meet the specific needs and demands of the patients' condition. The cardiac event monitors are easy to use by people of all ages.
The cardiac event monitor is clipped to the waistband of the patient. The monitor is connected to a set of wires which are attached to two electrodes worn on the patient. The EKG electrodes are small sticky patches attached to the patient's chest. The monitor can be worn for up to 30 days. Normally cardiac event monitor is used to record an abnormal heart rhythm. The patient triggers the cardiac event monitor device when he first begins to feel signs of dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness and fluttering of the heart.
Loop recorder: This is a small device that is attached to the patient's chest with electrodes. The smallest type of pre-symptom event monitor is about the size of a pager. The event monitor device constantly records heartbeats. The patient presses a button on the monitor when any symptoms occur so that a permanent recording is made of the heart rhythm. The monitor also saves some information about how the patient's heart was beating before the save button was pressed. This is called pre symptom recording. This feature is especially useful to detect the patient's condition at the time the heart problems occur.
Event recorder: This is a small monitoring device that is used only when symptoms of the heart problems occur. It does not have any electrodes attached to the chest.Doctors can also diagnose whether the heart beats too rapidly, too slowly or irregularly during the arrhythmia by means of this event monitoring device. Doctors can also diagnose an arrhythmia by obtaining an electrocardiogram. If the doctor suspects the patient to suffer an arrhythmia and the symptoms are infrequent, then the cardiac event monitor is used by the doctor to monitor the patient over longer periods of time. Find out more on Holter monitor.
Feelings of having pounding, fluttering and rapid heartbeat are termed as palpitations. Palpitations are triggered by exercise, stress, certain medications or any underlying medical condition. Heart palpitations are worrisome but largely harmless, and resolve on their own without any treatment. However in a few cases, heart palpitations could be an indicator of an underlying heart condition. Heart palpitations can be felt in the chest, throat or neck.
Heart palpitations can occur when the person is active or at rest, while lying down or while standing or sitting. If the person experiences dizziness, discomfort in the chest, shortness of breath, see the doctor soon.
Common causes of palpitations
Commonly reported symptoms include fluttering heartbeat, skipped heartbeat and heartbeats faster than usual. Some of the common causes that give rise to palpitations are caffeine, exercise, smoking, or anxiety. In women, palpitation may also occur due to hormonal changes associated with menstruation, menopause or pregnancy. Cold and asthma medication also triggers palpitations. In rare cases, heart palpitations can be a symptom of serious heart condition, such as arrhythmia or hyperthyroidism that requires treatment.
Palpitations are monitored with a physical examination and the following:
Event recording: A Holter Monitor is worn in the chest, it continuously records the hearts signal for 24-48 hours. It can detect rhythm abnormalities that were not detected using an ECG.
Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 21, 2019