Cardiac Abnormalities are Among the Most Frequent Health Problems
ECG Holter Devices Make the Earliest Recognition of Heart Irreguralities Possible
Holter ecg monitoring is done if the patient's ecg is needed to be monitored for a prolonged time, away from clinical environment. An ecg holter monitor provides information above and over conventional ecg devices, making it possible to detect transient cardiac problems as well.
Why do I Need ECG Holter Monitoring?
In most cases ecg holter monitoring is recommended if you have rhythm disturbances or if you are after a heart attack. Other possible indications include:
- Chest pain
- Shortness of breath
- Evaluation of a pacemaker
- Regulation of anti-arrhythmic drugs
- Family history of heart disease
- Faintness, dizzines of unknown cause
What is Analysed after an ECG Holter Measurement?
The ecg holter records the rate and the regularity of heartbeats. The normal ecg wave includes a P wave, a QRS complex and a T wave and each part of the heartbeat provides information on the heart-condition. In all cases the amplitude, the width and the peak of the wave is considered and any abnormalities may indicate heart problems.
The ecg holter is a perfect tool to analyse:
The ST segment can be elevated or depressed in comparision to the base line. ST elevation is above the line and it indicates heart attack. ST depression is below the line and indicates ischemia, which is a restriction in blood supply to tissues, causing lack of oxygen. The reason for the shortage of oxygen can be many, for example a blockage or low hemoglobin, therefore each case requires different treatment.
The QT interval can be short or long, both may indicate rhythm disturbances and dangerous ventricular arrhythmias.
Its duration and amplitude (voltage) is considered. A wide QRS indicates abnormal intraventricular conduction and a block or ventricular arrhythmia. A low amplitude is unhealthy and often indicates coronary disease, cardiac failure or obesity. A too high amplitude is abnormal as well, but being low or high depends on many factors, e.g. electrode placement, weight, etc.
In case of P wave analysis, the shape, the actual configuration and deflections from the ecg baseline between T and P wave are considered. A normal P waves are upright (positively deflected), uniform and round in shape.
How to Prepare for the ECG Holter Monitoring?
No special preparation is necessary. But it is advisable to shower or bathe before the ecg holter is applied, because neither ecg holter monitors are water resistant, nor the patient ecg cables can be removed.
For men, a small amount of hair may be shaved to apply the patient electrodes properly.
You will be instructed to keep a diary and note all activities you do or symptoms (palpitations, chest pain, shortness of breath) you feel during the monitoring period.
Usually after the 24-hour ecg holter monitoring period, you will return to the doctors office where your recordings will be evaluated.
Tips for Successful ECG Holter Monitoring
Don't wear any synthetic clothes during ecg holter monitoring, as this may cause disturbances in ecg recordings due to static electricity.
Should an ecg Holter electrode become disconnected, it should be re-applied to the same position as soon as possible.
You should not remove the recorder even at night!
Should the battery run down during an ecg holter monitoring session, it can be simply replaced.
The memory card should never be removed during monitoring.