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Who Needs a Holter or Event Monitor?

Your doctor may recommend a Holter or event monitor if he or she thinks you have an arrhythmia. An arrhythmia is a problem with the rate or rhythm of the heartbeat.

Holter and event monitors most often are used to detect arrhythmias in people who have:

  • Issues with fainting or feeling dizzy. A monitor might be used if causes other than a heart rhythm problem have been ruled out.
  • Palpitations (pal-pih-TA-shuns) that recur with no known cause. Palpitations are feelings that your heart is skipping a beat, fluttering, or beating too hard or fast. You may have these feelings in your chest, throat, or neck.

People who are being treated for heart rhythm problems also may need to use Holter or event monitors. The monitors can show how well their treatments are working.

Heart rhythm problems may occur only during certain activities, such sleeping or physical exertion. Holter and event monitors record your heart rhythm while you do your normal daily routine. This allows your doctor to see how your heart responds to various activities.

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March 16, 2012 Last Updated Icon

The NHLBI updates Health Topics articles on a biennial cycle based on a thorough review of research findings and new literature. The articles also are updated as needed if important new research is published. The date on each Health Topics article reflects when the content was originally posted or last revised.

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