Cardiac Rhythm Monitoring An Overview
Heart rhythm monitoring is recommended when patients are exhibiting symptoms of heart rhythm disturbances such as arrhythmia, atrial fibrillation, palpitations, and dizziness. Buckeye Heart & Vascular Institute offers a full range of diagnostic testing to help identify various arrhythmias and abnormal heart rhythm problems.
What are the most common abnormal heart rhythms?
The most common abnormal heart rhythms include Tachycardia, Atrial fibrillation (AF), Atrial flutter, Bradycardia, and Premature contractions (PAC). Abnormal heart rhythms can be fast, slow, or irregular. The type of treatment you receive for a heart arrhythmia will depend on the kind of abnormal beat.
Can you shower with a cardiac event monitor?
We do not recommend showering with a cardiac event monitor as water can damage the device and interfere with results. A cardiac event monitor can be removed and reattached for personal hygiene reasons.
Can you drink coffee while wearing a Holter monitor?
We ask that you limit your coffee intake, as well as alcohol consumption, as these can cause heart rhythms not associated with heart problems and report inaccurate results.
Cardiac Rhythm Monitoring What to Expect
EKG, also known as an electrocardiogram, is a test that measures the electrical activity of your heart at rest.
An EKG measures your heart’s electrical activity. During an EKG, your technician will place small electrode patches on the chest, legs, and arms. These electrodes are connected to a machine that will produce a detailed report on the heart’s rate and rhythm.
An EKG is a quick, non-invasive test that allows your doctor to identify any abnormalities in the heart rhythm or rate, diagnose a heart attack, measure the size of the heart, and analyze blood flow to the heart.
An EKG is typically performed in one visit and only takes a few minutes for the computer to analyze the electrical impulses. Once completed, your physician will interpret the reading and determine if further testing or treatment is needed.
A Holter monitor is a small device that records your heart rhythm. A Holter monitor may be worn for 24 hours up to a week. The Holter monitor is attached to the chest using EKG electrodes and wires. The portable device is then secured to the belt loop, allowing patients to resume their normal activity after the appointment.
It is imperative that patients do not get their device damp or wet because it can interfere with the results.
While in use, the Holter monitor records all of the heartbeats. The recordings are converted to similar readings as an EKG may provide. You may be asked to keep a diary of your symptoms while wearing the Holter monitor.
With the information gathered from the Holter monitor, your physician can determine if you have a heart rhythm disorder.
Cardiac Event Monitor
Cardiac arrhythmias may occur sporadically, occurring every few days, weeks, or months. Cardiac event monitors allow patients to record their symptoms as they experience their symptoms. Patients will activate the EKG device which will record the heart rhythm at the time of activation. Patients are encouraged to keep an activity and symptom journal throughout this process.
A cardiac event monitor is a small, portable device that records your heart’s electrical activity. A cardiac event monitor records the heart rate and rhythm while a patient is experiencing a cardiac “event.” The monitor may be worn for several days or up to a month.
Patients can remove their cardiac event monitor to perform their hygiene routine but will need to reattach it afterward. Your physician will explain how to use the device during your appointment.
Your physician will receive daily reports from the cardiac event monitor. Once treatment is completed, your physician will determine if any additional testing or treatment is needed.