We may ask you to do an ECG Holter monitor test if you have experienced symptoms such as:

  • palpitations

  • dizziness

  • fainting

  • chest pain

  • shortness of breath

We will ask you to do a Holter test if a routine resting 12-lead electrocardiogram (ECG) has not picked up an issue.

ECG Holter monitor tests can be done for varying lengths of time. The tests can last for 24, 48 or 72 hours, or five to seven days. The device will track your heart's rhythm and record this for someone to analyse later.

Fitting and wearing the monitor

The device itself is about the size of a mobile phone, so you can carry it on you without it affecting your day to day routine. You wear the device around your waist or in your pocket, and has three leads attached to this.

When you have the device fitted, this will be done by a cardiac physiologist. They will put three sticky patches (electrodes) onto your chest. These will have the leads connected to the device attached to them. It should take around 20 minutes for the fitting.

Fitting the device is completely painless, and you will need to wear the device both day and night. You can carry on with your normal routine and activities. Do not adjust the device without speaking to your cardiac physiologist first. During the fitting, they will show you how to remove and reconnect the device when you have a shower or bath. It is important that you do not get the device wet. Once you have finished your shower or bath, you must reconnect the device immediately. If you are going to be wearing the monitor for longer than 48 hours, we will give you extra electrodes.

Avoiding interference

It is important to be aware of possible interference that could affect the device and its recording of your heart rhythm. Devices such as mobile phones, tablets and computers can be used as normal. But you should not:

  • stand in front of a microwave that is being used

  • sleep with an electric blanket that is switched on

For more information about returning your device and contacting the team, click on the 'Information' tab. 

Structural heart disease is an umbrella term for a number of defects which affect the valves and chambers of the heart and the aorta. 

Sarcoidosis, also known as sarcoid, is generally described as an inflammatory condition of unknown cause which can affect various parts of the body and can occur at all ages. 

Pectus anomaly describes a deformity with the sternum (breastbone). The condition is the most common congenital wall deformity.

Pulmonary hypertension (PH) refers to a group of conditions where the blood pressure in the lungs is raised due to narrowing of blood vessels in the lungs. 

Ion channelopathies are a group of rare genetic conditions, caused by a gene

Cardiomyopathy is a disease that affects the heart muscle. Cardiomyopathy can often be caused by a genetic mutation, and can therefore run in families affecting one or many members, at any age.

The term 'heart problems' incorporate a number of specific conditions, such as coronary artery disease, angina and heart attacks. 

Returning the device

When you have finished with the device, you will need to return it to the non-invasive cardiology department as soon as possible. When you have the device fitted, you can ask for a pre-paid first-class envelope to post the device back to us if you prefer.

It is important to return your device as soon as you can after your test. Otherwise, other patients may have to have their test cancelled.

Once you have returned your device, one of the team will analyse your recording and produce a report within seven days. All the results are put into the electronic patient record system. These results are then available immediately for your doctor to look at.

Useful contacts

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 Holter 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.

Contact our cardiac physiologists

Royal Brompton Hospital

020 7351 8641

Harefield Hospital

01895 828 566