Holter Monitoring

What is a Holter Monitor?

The Holter monitor is a device very similar to the electrocardiogram in that it will record the electrical activity of the heart that is transmitted through to the skin surface. The standard 12 lead electrocardiogram records 10 seconds of heart rhythm however, for patients who are having intermittent rapid or slow heart beats it may not be captured on the standard 12 lead ECG and thus a more extended period of monitoring is required.

The Holter monitor was developed by Dr Norman J Holter who invented telemetric cardiac monitoring in 1949. The Holter monitor can record up to 48 hours of continuous cardiac rhythm. It can also provide trend data and will generally catalogue any abnormal rhythms that are present.

How is it done?

The rhythms are recorded on a device that is the size of a mobile phone which can be attached to your belt and generally is returned to the cardiac unit and decoded in 10-15 minutes providing us with all the information that has been recorded over the preceding 24-48 hours.

The Holter monitor is very useful at recording the mechanisms of palpitations or correlating the heart rhythm with patients who are having dizzy or fainting episodes.

The procedure is simple to perform, Five (5) sticky dots are placed on the chest which 5 leads then attach to the small monitor (similar to an ECG). The only real risks are associated with allergic reactions to the skin via the pads that are applied to the chest to record the cardiac signals.

If symptoms are experienced while wearing the monitor there is a button on the monitor which can be pressed to inform the analyst of the time of the symptoms. The scientist fitting the monitor will show you this.
A diary will also be given to write down any symptoms that may have been experienced during the recording period.

What to wear?

  • Wear loose fitting clothing as the leads will be on your chest.

No Showering

  • The monitor and leads cannot get wet at all so no showering, bathing or swimming to be done while the monitor is on.
  • Deodorant is fine to wear.

Please bring along your referral to the appointment.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at:

Queensland Cardiology
St Vincent’s Private Hospital Northside
North Medical Suites, Green Lifts Level 3,
627 Rode Road
Chermside Q 4032
(07) 3861 5522