Ambulatory ECG Looking for arrhythmia
A static ECG shows your heart's activity as a snapshot and so it can miss intermittent palpitations.
Getting a recording of the heart at the time of symptoms is absolutely key to diagnosing a cardiac arrhythmia.
An ambulatory ECG can be called a ‘Holter’ monitor. This is an ECG test that you wear under your clothes and continue with your day to day activities. This is a way of monitoring your heart rate throughout the 24-hour period. When analysed, I can identify your underlying heart rhythm and detect any episodes of arrhythmia. Knowing your exact underlying arrhythmia is essential as it determines your treatment and identifies your individual risk.
"Wearing a 'Holter' monitor at the time of symptoms can really simplify making a patient's diagnosis. We can also use it to monitor the impact of treatment."
The Test Procedure
Our technician will fit you with the Holter monitor. This will involve placing sticky electrodes onto the chest and connecting leads to these. You may be asked to wear the monitor for 24 hours or even longer depending on your condition.
Continue with all your normal activities on the day of the monitor. Make a note of the times you have your symptoms - being precise helps make a better diagnosis and will help you most.
If you need to wear the monitor for a period longer than 24 hours, ask the technician to show you how to remove and replace the electrodes and leads. Its fairly simple but getting it right will improve the accuracy of the reading.
Getting the Results
I will analyse the data and look throughout the recording. We pay specific attention to the times you had your symptoms so don't forget to note these times down.
I will then arrange a time to discuss the findings and make a plan for your treatment.