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Holter Monitor Test

A Holter monitor is a battery operated small unit that records your heart activity continuosly for 24, 48 or 72 hours as ordered by your physician. Your physician will order a Holter monitor test for the following reasons:

  • To investigate cardiac arrhythmia
  • Check an irregular heartbeat
  • Heart palpitations, skipped beats or heart flutter
  • Evaluate a pacemaker
  • Evaluate effectiveness of your heart medications
  • Assess your heart rate and rhythm during daily activities
  • Fainting or dizziness
  • Part of the stroke assessment

Click here to view the Holter monitor brochure.

Location and Contact Information

To make a Holter monitor test appointment at the Markham site, please visit the Make an Appointment page.

To make a Holter monitor test appointment at the Uxbridge site, please call 905 852 9771 ext. 5249.

Markham Site

We suggest parking in the main hospital parking lot, opposite the Link Lobby Entrance and Medical Office Building, when visiting diagnostic services.

Please go to the central registration desk on the main floor of Building A, before heading to diagnostic services on the second floor in Building B where you'll be directed to the designated waiting room.

Uxbridge Site

Diagnostic services is located in Uxbridge Cottage Hospital – 4 Campbell Drive, Uxbridge.

For more information on parking at the Markham or Uxbridge sites, please click here.

Care Providers

The Holter monitor will be applied by a cardiology technologist. The technologist will instruct in the proper care and return of the monitor.

What You Should Know

Before Your Visit

Please wear comfortable clothing such as a front-buttoning blouse or shirt that gives easy access to your chest on the day of your test.  Avoid wearing a dress, full slip, corset or pantyhose. Please do not wear jewellery or perfume on the day of your test.

Please arrive 30 minutes before your test to register at central registration desk in Builing A. Please bring your health card and your requisition (if your physician has provided you with one).

During Your Visit

Please allow approximately 30 minutes for your test. If you are allergic to any tape, please tell the technologist who attaches the monitor to you.

After a routine ECG (electrocardiogram), our technologist will attach electrodes to your chest with wires that lead to the Holter monitor.  The Holter monitor is the size of a small cell phone and fits at your waist under your clothes. 

After Your Visit

There are no side effects to this test. 

You cannot shower or bathe while the monitor is attached to you.  Please do not sleep under an electric blanket, as the monitor may pick up electrical interference.

Continue with your regular daily activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will the monitor cause me to have symptoms? No, it is simply a recording device.
What is an ECG? An ECG or electrocardiogram is a two-minute test that records the electrical activity of your heart onto graph paper for interpretation.
What does the Holter monitor do? It monitors your heart rate and rhythm over a period of time during your daily activities.
What if I can’t wear the monitor for the full 24 or 48 hours? It is best to wear the monitor for the entire duration of the test but it can be removed up to two hours earlier (only if needed). Early removal of the device may impact the final report to the doctor.
Why do I have to bring the monitor back as instructed? It is a battery operated device and data may be lost.
Will the monitor be affected by microwaves, etc.? No, but an electric blanket may affect the equipment.
What happens to my monitor after I return it? We download the information about your heart from the monitor and we send a report to the cardiologist for review and interpretation.
Can I exercise while wearing the monitor? Yes, it is preferred that you continue with your normal activity to get the best results. Please let the technologist know if you do plan to exercise for added safety of the electrodes (stickers).
Can I take my medications? Yes, continue to take your medications as prescribed.

Additional Resources

Heart & Stroke Foundation – Holter monitoring