Monitoring with Holter ECG is an instrumental diagnostic method widely used in cardiology.
It is used to diagnose a variety of pathologies that are difficult to detect with the simple registration of ECG indicators.
The essence of the Holter study.
Daily monitoring of the heart is a permanent record of the body’s electrical activity for one or more days.
All the indicators are recorded using a portable device, recording and preserving them until the moment of decoding.
Old tape models have replaced modern electronic counterparts that do not cause any discomfort when used daily.
The Holter device weighs about 500 grams and looks like a compact box, from which the sensors come out.
It is used as a permanent fixation of the electrical activity of the heart (and, sometimes, of blood pressure) and fragmentary registration.
In the latter case, the patient turns on the device only when there is an unpleasant sensation in the region of the heart or other characteristic symptoms.
Some modern devices for fragmented fixation of patient indicators can be used on the arm, like a regular watch. During an attack, the device is simply placed on the chest in the region of the heart.
There are the following types of devices for monitoring Holter heart rate during the day:
- Simple (three channels): record the heart rate and electrical activity.
- Challenging (twelve channels): Also receive data on the supply of oxygen to the muscles of the heart.
Generally, the Holter device is equipped with a set of disposable electrodes that are attached to the chest of the person being examined.
Indications for Holter monitoring
Typically, the goal of Holter’s daily monitoring is to diagnose cardiac pathologies that are difficult to detect using standard research methods.
To deliver a Holter device to a patient, the physician must ensure that the latter has indications for this.
In most cases, the daily diagnosis (monitoring) is indicated for people with:
- Arrhythmias of various etiologies alone, or during physical / emotional stress.
- Loss of consciousness of unknown etiology.
- Ischemic heart disease.
- Violations of oxygenation, not associated with pathologies of the respiratory system.
- The weakness of the sinus node responsible for the formation of electrical impulses in the heart.
Results of Holter monitoring.
After viewing this list, we can conclude that the daily heart rate record is used both to identify diseases and to check the status of patients who have already undergone surgical treatment.
Contraindications for Holter Monitoring
You can use a Holter Heart Monitor for almost everyone..
The only contraindication to Holter monitoring is damage to the skin of the chest.
In this case, it is not possible to install electrodes. Pacemakers are also not a contraindication for daily cardiac monitoring.
Holter can not surprise the patient and will not cause interruptions in the work of the stimulator.
Preparation for the procedure.
Holter monitoring does not apply to studies that require special long-term patient training.
The only comments to consider are:
- Before installing the monitor, take a shower so that the skin is clean.
- Men need to shave the hair from their breasts, as they prevent the sensor from being installed
- Immediately before installation, the skin is treated with an alcohol solution.
- The electrodes are fixed to the thorax with adhesive tape.
How is the Holter monitoring procedure performed?
The Holter daily monitoring system is simply installed:
- The patient removes the outer clothing, stripping to the waist.
- The electrodes adhere to clean skin, previously moistened with an alcohol solution.. The sensors look almost the same as the electrodes when a conventional electrocardiogram is taken.
- Then place the device in a battery to which the electrodes are connected., And sometimes a fist to measure the pressure. The Holter can be attached with a special strap or placed in a pocket.
The scheme of imposing electrodes in Holter monitoring is as follows:
Doing a Holter study correctly helps the patient’s diary, which the patient must complete during the entire time the device is used.
Record all data about the patient’s activity:
- when taking those or other drugs
- every meal is recorded
- sleep time
- emotional turmoil
- Various types of physical activity.
Classification of the action:
In order for the cardiogram taken by Halter (cardiac monitoring) to provide results as accurate as possible, it is necessary to carefully record the duration of each type of activity and the time of its change.
Holter (sometimes Webholter) carries no danger to the patient.
There are cases in which the Holter detect the pathology immediately after installing the device.
In that In one case, a patient with a serious illness is sent to a hospital for immediate treatment.
In most cases, people do not even feel uncomfortable when using it. Training in the gym and other active physical efforts can cause some inconvenience.
But this type of activities must be previously agreed with the doctor. If the doctor offers to take an ECG at home, then you should be careful with charges that actively use the heart muscle.
The day of the patient’s testimony does not affect the heart. The device can not shake and does not cause pain.
What not to do with Holter monitoring?
There are limitations that every patient must remember:
- You can not take a shower.
- Do not overheat the device or expose it to low temperatures.
- Do not allow water or any other liquid to enter the device.
- Do not expose the device to a strong magnetic field, or approach transformers and other strong sources of electrical current.
- During the study, try to use fewer laptops, phones and other devices. Do not use the microwave.
- During sleep, position the device so as not to pinch it.
- Check from time to time if the electrodes are properly connected.
- It is not possible to perform a simultaneous investigation such as radiographs.
- Do not perform active physical exercise without first consulting a doctor.
How to cheat the device?
The Holter monitor for ECG and / or blood pressure readings is a modern device that works with high accuracy and almost completely eliminates the possibility of falsifying research results.
Not all medical professionals can do this, and the lack of treatment or inadequate therapy can cause irreparable damage to your body.
With antihypertensive medications, blood pressure can be reduced by forcing the drug to record inaccurate data..
Hiding the same arrhythmia or other serious abnormalities in the work of the heart muscle is almost impossible, either through the use of antiarrhythmics or by any other means.
There are reports that some young people were cheating the device to evade military service.
According to themselves, this is done with the help of physical effort, which creates an image of a steady increase in blood pressure and sinus tachycardia.
However, it is unlikely that these stories are true, because if there is any doubt, the doctor will immediately refer the patient to the hospital for examination under the supervision of the medical staff.
Holter decode monitoring
Holter monitoring is widely used in medicine for its accuracy and convenience of data decoding. Once the study is finished, all the indicators obtained are transferred to a computer, where a specialist sees them.
First, the cardiologist will pay attention to:
- Presence of arrhythmia attacks, its connection with physical or emotional stress.
- The presence of extrasystoles (heartbeats out of the general rhythm).
- The parameters of the ventricular complex (QRS), the PQ and QT intervals and the ST segment, all reflect the work of the cardiac muscle during contraction and latency.
- Entries in the diary and its relation to the received cardiogram.
- Blood pressure indicators (if they were also taken).
Holter monitoring shows a complete picture of the disease and allows you to reach a final medical conclusion about the work of the sinus node, the state of the heart muscle system, the rhythm alterations and the conduction of the excitation signals, the presence of various blockages and other pathologies.
When reading the study protocol, a person not related to medicine will find many specific terms.
Do not worry, seeing long and incomprehensible descriptions. Contact the doctor who ordered the study, he will explain the results in simple language, give you useful advice or prescribe appropriate therapy.
Reading an ECG is a skill that requires a lot of experience. Far from every medical professional who owns them, so deciphering the results should be entrusted to an experienced cardiologist.
What batteries are needed?
The devices for the daily control of ECG and blood pressure (Smad), work with battery power or conventional batteries.
Depending on the brand of the device, AA or AAA batteries may be required. It is best to check with your health care provider to install a monitor.
How to pass Holter monitoring and its price?
A doctor or cardiologist, if a cardiovascular abnormality is suspected, can prescribe this study.
Often, the monitor is installed in patients who have heart failure problems that are not repaired by a normal ECG machine.
Follow-up is also done to pregnant women with an unfavorable course.
Follow-up is also done to pregnant women with an unfavorable course. It also passes through people who must be called to military service if the conscript declares the presence of a pathology in the part of the heart that frees him from military service.
The reality is that free tests are often partially paid. Before installing Holter, prepare yourself for the fact that you may be asked to bring batteries or to buy a set of electrodes.
Normally, the amounts range between 2 and 5 thousand rubles. A three-channel Holter costs less, a studio with a twelve-channel monitor costs approximately twice as much.
The most paid monitoring is that anyone can pass. Therefore, you can completely verify the health of your own heart or obtain recommendations to improve your condition.
Now you know the importance of Holter monitoring and how to behave during this study.
If the doctor has prescribed this procedure, do not treat it with caution, it will help to eliminate the heart disease, it will not discover the essence of your pathology and it will begin in time the treatment prescribed by your doctor.