The Children’s Heart Center offers Holter monitoring, which allows the physician to review the patient's heart rate and rhythm for a prolonged period of time, usually 24 hours.
What are some reasons for using a Holter monitor?
There are many reasons a doctor may order this test, including if the patient:
- Is experiencing palpitations, “pounding” in the chest, or feels like his or her heart is “racing”
- Has irregular or early heart beats noted on a physical examination
- Is on medications that may cause arrhythmias, or an abnormal heart pattern
- Has congenital heart defects
How is the test performed?
A technologist will place several electrodes, similar to sticky patches, over your child’s chest. These electrodes will be connected via wires to a small battery-operated recorder approximately six inches long, three inches wide and one inch thick that will digitally record your child's heart activity.
What do I need to do while my child is wearing the monitor?
The test will last 12 or 24 hours. While your child is wearing the monitor, try to ensure he or she follows normal routines, including school and exercise. The only limitation on your child's activity, unless instructed otherwise by the physician, is that the monitor cannot get wet. Showers must be avoided, but careful sponge bathing is allowed.
You will be given a diary sheet to record daily activity, as well as any symptoms your child may feel. It is important to check throughout the day to be sure none of the electrodes have fallen off. If your child has any dizziness, shortness of breath, chest pain, fast or slow heartbeats, or any other symptoms, push the button on the end of the recorder once. This will place a mark on the tape for the cardiologist to see.
How will I be informed of the test results?
After you have returned the monitor and diary sheet, a technologist will scan the tape and generate a report for the pediatric cardiologist, who will interpret the results. You will receive the results from the doctor who ordered the test, usually either your pediatrician or a pediatric cardiologist. This generally takes three to five working days.
As part of Atlantic Health System Children’s Health, physician services are provided through Atlantic Medical Group and are on staff at Goryeb Children’s Hospital.