Heart Monitor Testing Specialist Q&A
Heart monitor testing is a portable electrocardiogram device that is used to monitor the heart rate constantly throughout the day in order to detect a variety of cardiac disorders, such as arrhythmias, palpitations, and medication monitoring. At Amcare Clinic, Dr. Vishwanatha Nadig, MD, performs painless heart monitor tests to diagnose the cause of heart problems and provide suggestions for further testing and medicine. A Holter monitor test is another term for a heart monitor test that is beneficial to examine chest pain and other cardiac symptoms like fatigue, shortness of breath, vertigo, and irregular heartbeat. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations to serve you in De Queen, AR, and Broken Bow, OK.
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A heart monitor test, also known as a Holter monitor test, is a diagnostic test that records the electrical activity of the heart over an extended period. This is usually 1 to 3 days. The Holter monitor is named after its inventor, Norman Holter, who developed the first portable electrocardiogram (ECG) machine.
The patient wears a tiny, portable device that is fastened to their chest with adhesive patches or straps during a heart monitor test. While the patient proceeds about their daily activities, including exercise and sleep, the device continuously records the heart’s electrical activity.
A standard ECG may miss certain abnormal heart rhythms, such as arrhythmias or palpitations, which is why the heart monitor test is frequently used to identify them. The test can also be used to gauge how well certain drugs or other heart-related treatments are working.
A healthcare professional, such as a cardiologist, downloads the device’s data after the test and examines it to determine whether any abnormal heart rhythms were found. The test’s outcomes are then used to inform the patient’s treatment plan and, if necessary, further diagnostic examinations.
A healthcare professional may suggest a heart monitor to identify or keep track of several heart conditions, such as:
Arrhythmias: A heart monitor can be used to detect and keep track of heart rhythm abnormalities like atrial fibrillation, ventricular tachycardia, and supraventricular tachycardia.
Palpitations: A heart monitor is often used to diagnose patients who feel their heart racing, fluttering, or skipping beats.
Syncope: A variety of conditions can lead to syncope, which is more commonly known as fainting. The underlying cause can be determined by using a heart monitor.
Pacemaker performance: Patients with implanted pacemakers may need a heart monitor to assess pacemaker performance and identify any problems.
Medication monitoring: The efficiency of medications for heart conditions, such as antiarrhythmic drugs, can be assessed by using a heart monitor.
While a heart monitor is not typically used to detect blockages in the heart’s blood vessels, it can help diagnose the underlying cause of symptoms that may be related to a blockage. For example, if a patient experiences episodes of chest pain or shortness of breath, a Holter monitor can help identify any heart rhythm abnormalities that may be causing these symptoms.
In some cases, a blockage in blood vessels can cause changes in the heart’s electrical activity, which can be detected by a Holter monitor. However, an abnormal heart rhythm does not necessarily indicate the presence of a blockage, as many other factors can contribute to heart rhythm disturbances.
If a patient is suspected of having a blockage in the heart’s blood vessels, other tests such as an electrocardiogram (ECG), stress test, or coronary angiogram are usually used to diagnose the condition. These tests can help identify the location and severity of the blockage, which will guide treatment decisions.
The duration you will need to wear a heart monitor will vary depending on the specific type of monitor being used and the reason for the test. With a Holter monitor, which is typically used to monitor the heart’s electrical activity over a 24 to 72-hour period, the patient wears the monitor for the entire duration of the test. For an event monitor, which is designed to monitor the heart over a longer period of time, the patient typically wears the monitor for the entire monitoring period or until a specific event occurs that triggers the recording of heart activity.
In some cases, an implantable loop monitor may be used to record the heart’s activity for several months to years. In this case, the device is implanted under the skin. The patient also wears a small external monitor that can be used to wirelessly transmit data to the healthcare provider. Overall, the specific duration of heart monitoring will depend on your specific condition and will be determined by your doctor.
To learn more about the testing, contact us or schedule an appointment online. We have convenient locations in De Queen AR and Broken Bow, OK. We serve patients from De Queen AR, Broken Bow, OK, At Wood AR, Lockesburg AR, Mineral Gilham AR, Horatio AR, Garvin OK, Eagle Town AR, Idabel OK, Eagle town Golden OK, Hochatown OK, and surrounding areas.
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