We use non-invasive cardiology to help diagnose a range of cardiac conditions. Non-invasive tests mean that the equipment used for the test are not inserted into your body, so will have less of an effect on your normal routine.

An ECG event recorder monitor test (R test) is used if your heart symptoms do not appear very often. We also use this if routine tests such as a resting 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) or ECG Holter monitor test have not shown an issue. These symptoms may include:

  • palpitations

  • dizziness

  • chest pain

  • shortness of breath

The test

The 'R test' looks at your heart rhythm and rate, and you will have the device with you for two weeks. It is about the size of a matchbox and you will need to wear it for the majority or all the time you have it.

For this test, you do not need to stay in hospital and can carry on with your normal routine whilst having the test. The device automatically detects and records any abnormal heart rhythm, but you can also 'activate' an ECG recording if you start to experience symptoms.

After the two weeks, you then return the device to the team. A cardiac physiologist will then analyse the recordings and produce a report for your doctor. These recordings will give your doctor more information about your heart rhythm, helping them make decisions about your condition.

The device

When we attach the monitoring device to you, we will attach two small sticky patches (electrodes) to your chest. One electrode will go in the centre of your chest and other on the left-hand side. We will then attach leads from the device to the electrodes, and you will wear it around your neck with a soft support necklace. This device should only take around ten minutes to fit.

Fitting this device is painless, and it will not affect your day to day routine. It is important that you wear this device both day and night and carry on your normal routine and activities.

It is important that you do not get the monitoring device wet, so you must take it off when you have a shower or bath. You will be given extra electrodes to replace them after your bath or shower.

For more information on how you will get your results and getting in touch with the team, click on the 'Information' tab. 

There are currently no related conditions associated with this test.

Your results

After the two weeks of monitoring, we will ask you to return your device to the non-invasive cardiology department. When we fit you with the device, we can also give you a pre-paid first-class envelope so you can post the device back if you prefer.

It is important that you follow the department's instructions about returning the device. If you do not return it on time, other patients may have to have their ECG Holter monitoring test cancelled.

Within seven days of returning the device, the non-invasive cardiology team will produce an ECG report of your results. These are uploaded to the electronic patient record system so that your doctor can immediately see your results, ready for your next appointment.

Getting in touch

If you are booked to come in for an ECG test at Harefield Hospital and have any questions or would like further information please contact the cardiac physiologists directly on 01895 828 566.

If you have an appointment to have an ECG event recorder monitor fitted at Royal Brompton Hospital and you have any questions or are unable to attend, please telephone the non-invasive cardiology department 020 7351 8641, Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm.

Read about ECG Holter monitor tests.