What We Do

A holter monitor is a small, portable ECG recorder that's worn for either 24, 48 or 72 hours. It records the heart rhythm during normal daily activities and while sleeping. This may identify slow, fast or irregular heart rhythms that may be responsible for symptoms such as fainting (syncope) or palpitations (feeling a fast or irregular heart beat). Nuclear Cardiology has 24 or 48-hour monitors.​

 Materials and Resources to Help You

The Patient & Family Education Program at UHN offers valuable resources to help you understand your condition.

Resources from the Patient & Family Education Program

Visit our Health Information section to find dedicated resources to help you understand your condition. Find the information you're looking for.​

 Your Procedure

How to Prepare

There is no special preparation for a Holter Monitor.

Bring with you to your appointment your:

  • Health card (OHIP card). If you do not have an OHIP card, please bring another form of government-issued photo ID (such as a driver's license, passport, or other provincial health card). Please arrive 15 minutes before your appointment.

Checking In

When you arrive at the TGH Electrophysiology Department or the TWH Nuclear Cardiology Lab check in at the reception desk. The receptionist will ask you for:

  • Health Card (OHIP Card)
  • Your name, address and birth date

Before the Holter Monitor

When you check in, the receptionist will give you a name band to wear. After you check in with reception, please sit down in the waiting area.

When it's time, a technologist will take you directly to the Holter Room. The procedure is explained. Consent is not required

During and After the Holter Monitor

ECG electrodes (sticky patches) are attached to your chest and connected with wires to the recorder. The monitor comes with a carrying pouch and can be worn around your waist. It's important for the monitor to remain attached for the duration of the test so that an accurate recording of your heart's rhythm can be obtained.

While you're wearing the monitor, you'll be asked to keep a diary of your activities and your symptoms, such as fluttering feelings in your chest (palpitations), rapid heartbeats, and any episodes of dizziness or fainting.

The holter monitor is worn for 24, 48 or 72 hrs. The length of time the monitor is worn depends on the doctor's orders. Following the test you return the monitor to the department.

The Results of Your Holter Monitor

Once the test is completed, the technologist uploads your results to your records. The physician/radiologist will write a report and send it to your doctor.

The technologist can't give you the results during your visit, but once the report is in your health record, your doctor can review it and will give you the results.

How Long Will Your Appointment Be?

Hooking up a holter monitor usually takes about 30 minutes. It needs to be worn for the prescribed period of time. When the test is complete, you'll need to return the holter monitor to the lab.

We do everything that we can to stay on time. Unfortunately, your appointment may be delayed by unforeseen circumstances. We recommend that you come prepared for delays.​

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