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Ambulatory Electrocardiogram

How To Prepare continued...

If your doctor asks you to keep a symptom and activity diary, be sure you have a method. In this diary, you will record activities and symptoms and the times they occurred. The accuracy and usefulness of your test depend on how carefully you keep this record.

If you are getting a monitor implanted under your skin, you will receive instructions on how to prepare for the procedure.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for the test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

How It Is Done

Continuous recorders

Continuous recorders are the most common type of ambulatory electrocardiogram monitor. This type includes the Holter monitor camera.gif.

A continuous recorder provides a 24- to 72-hour record of the electrical signals from your heart. A standard EKG monitors only 40 to 50 heartbeats during the brief period you are attached to the machine. A continuous recorder monitors about 100,000 heartbeats in 24 hours and is likely to find any heart problems that happen with activity.

For this test, you wear a lightweight, battery-operated tape recorder (monitor) on a strap over your shoulder or around your waist. The recorder is connected by wires to small metal discs (electrodes) taped to your chest. The electrodes detect the electrical signals from your heart. A clock is connected to the recorder so you can note what time it is when you have any symptoms.

You will be fitted with the recorder and electrodes by a technician in a doctor's office or hospital room.

  • Several areas on your chest may be shaved and cleaned, and then a small amount of electrode paste or gel will be applied to those areas.
  • The electrode pads will then be attached to the skin of your chest, with thin wires connecting the electrodes to the monitor.
  • You may be hooked up briefly to a standard EKG machine to ensure that the electrodes are working properly.
What you do during the test
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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