Procedure and Equipment Required For Conducting a Holter Monitoring Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The heart is the main pumping organ of the human body. Blood is received from various parts of the body and routed back to the body once it has been oxygenated. The pressure produced by the muscles of the heart pushes blood throughout the body. The heart muscles do not have the option to rest, their operation is continuous. Naturally, there are variations in the heart rate depending on the physical effort being endured by the body. Heart beat variations also occur when there is any emotional event or any event that might trigger stress.

The heart is controlled using electrical signals. These electrical signals control the movements of the heart muscles. When there is an abnormality in the heart, it can be measured using these electrical signals. One problem with using such a method is the fact that an individual may suffer from intermittent heart trouble which may not show up during a clinical test. This is where Holter monitoring comes into the picture.

Procedure For Conducting a Holter Monitoring Test

Holter monitoring is a procedure that uses a portable heart monitor that is worn by the individual. The Holter monitoring device is a portable battery operated device. The Holter monitoring procedure involves the application of electrodes to the chest of the individual. Once these electrodes are in place, the Holter monitoring test begins. The duration of the Holter monitoring test is between 24 and 48 hours depending on the doctor's judgment. The Holter monitoring equipment is carried in a pouch or in the pocket of the individual. During the day, the individual is expected to follow a normal routine while Holter monitoring takes place. During the day, the individual should also make note of the various activities being performed.

Holter Monitoring System and Results

As the Holter monitoring is being performed, any abnormalities will be detected and recorded. Once the duration of the Holter monitoring procedure is complete, the machine and electrodes are removed and returned to the doctor. The data collected by the Holter monitoring system; mainly the recorder; will be analyzed to check if there are any imperfections. During the period of Holter monitoring, the patient will have to avoid taking a bath as the instruments are not water resistant. Apart from this, the lifestyle of the individual has to be as normal as possible. This will ensure that the holter monitoring results produced are accurate and can be relied on for a diagnosis to be made. Holter monitoring is usually painless with discomfort only being associated with the removal of the electrodes after the procedure.