Other Names: Ambulatory electrocardiography, Ambulatory ecg/ekg

Description/Test Basics/Reasons for the test: An electrocardiogram is a painless non-invasive test that measures and records the electrical impulses, or activity, of the heart.  This electrical activity is referred to as your heart rhythm.  Each heart beat is triggered by an electrical impulse generated from within your heart. An electrocardiogram records these electrical signals as they travel through your heart. 

An electrocardiogram can be used to:

  • Find the cause of unexplained chest pain
  • Find out if the walls of the heart chambers are too thick (hypertrophied).
  • Find the cause of symptoms of heart disease, such as shortness of breath, dizziness, or rapid, irregular heartbeats (palpitations, arrhythmia's).
  • Check a patient's response to therapy; check how well medicines are working and whether they are causing side effects that affect the heart.
  • Check how well mechanical devices such as pacemakers are working to control a patient's heartbeat.
  • Check the health of the heart when other diseases or conditions are present, such as high blood pressure,  high cholesterol, cigarette smoking, diabetes, or a family history of early heart disease.

A Holter monitor is a small, wearable, light-weight monitoring device that records your heart rhythm. You usually wear a Holter monitor for 24-48 hours, and during that time, the device will record all of your heartbeats. A Holter monitor test is usually performed after an electrocardiogram isn't able to give your doctor enough information about your heart's condition.  As every single heart beat is recorded for 24-48 hours, the holter monitor test is frequently used to look for heart-related problems that come and go, and usually do no appear in a typical resting ecg done at the office.  If any abnormal beats or heart arrhythmias occur during that time, they can be identified. 

Test preparation/pre-test guidelines: Patients should not strenuously exercise right before the test.  There is no special preparation for the test.  Tell the nurse if you are allergic to any tape or other adhesives. Make sure you shower or bathe before you start the test. You will not be able to do so while you are wearing a Holter monitor.

Test process/How the test is done: Electrodes are attached to  your chest.  For our male patients, their chest hair may need to be shaved so that the electrodes can stick to  the skin.  The lead wires of thte holter monitor are then attached to the electrodes.  You must keep the monitor close to your body- in a pocket or small pouch worn around your neck or waist, for example.   This may make sleeping difficult for some people.  While you wear the monitor, it records your heart rhythm. You will be required to keep a diary of what activities you do while wearing the monitor.   It is very important that you accurately record your symptoms and activities so that the doctor can correlate them with your Holter monitor findings.  You should continue normal activity while wearing the Holter Monitor.  After 24 - 48 hours, you return the monitor to our Denton office. The doctor will look at the ecg recording and see if there have been any irregular heart rhythms.  

Post-test guidelines: Most patients can resume normal activities immediately following Holter test.

Test location: Your Holter Monitor test can be “hooked up” at all our locations- Denton, Gainesville and Bowie Texas.  The Holter Monitor test will be evaluated by Dr. Qureshi at our main office in Denton, Texas.

HOSPITAL PRIVILEGES:   •  Denton Regional Medical Center   •  Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Denton
   •  Muenster Memorial Hospital   •  North Texas Medical Center

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