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Holter Monitoring


Holter monitoring is a painless way to record your heartbeat away from the doctor's office. A Holtor monitor, also called a Holter, is a small portable device that is used to continuously record your heartbeat, usually over 24 to 48 hours.

As is the case with electrocardiogram (ECG), Holtor monitoring can help your doctor diagnose heart problems, including heart attack and arrhythmia.

Dignity Health Heart and Vascular Institute of Greater Sacramento provides exceptional diagnostics for our heart and vascular patients. Our physicians use the latest technology to ensure an accurate diagnosis so we can provide you with the best course of treatment available.

How to Use a Holter Monitor

You can receive your heart monitor in a hospital, test center or doctor's office.

When you receive a Holter monitor, small, painless pads (electrodes) are put on your chest. These connect to the lightweight unit, which attaches to a belt or shoulder strap. You need to keep the device on for at least 24 hours and complete a diary. While wearing the monitor, follow these tips:

  • Try to sleep on your back
  • Don't take a shower. A sponge bath is okay
  • Follow your normal routine. Don't avoid stress, work, or exercise
  • Stay away from electric blankets, magnets, metal detectors, and high-voltage areas such as power lines. They may affect the recording
  • If an electrode falls off or the unit makes noise, call to see what you should do

Keeping a Holter Monitor Diary

While wearing the monitor you will need to keep a diary following these steps:

  • Write in the time of day for each entry you make
  • Note each change in activity, including when you take medicine
  • Note any symptoms you feel

Sample Holter Monitor

Time Activity Symptom
7:00 a.m. took medicine none
7:30 a.m. ate breakfast none
8:00 a.m. drove to work heart beat faster
9:00 a.m. meeting with boss heart beat faster