We may ask you to do an ECG Holter monitor test if you have experienced symptoms such as:
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.
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.
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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.
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
01895 828 566
Seven-day ECG - Harefield Hospital - December 2016 (pdf, 373KB)