What do you need to wear to carry out a cardiac holter?

13 December 2021

Which clothing is best to wear during a cardiac holter is one of the most common questions from those who undergo this non-invasive diagnostic test, also called “dynamic electrocardiogram” by Holter.

The exam consists in the application of a small device to the front of the chest. This device is a portable battery-powered electrocardiograph, which monitors the cardiac activity for a certain period of time thanks to the usage of electrodes.

During the cardiac holter monitoring, the patient can conduct his/her normal daily activities, but he/she need to pay attention to some aspects including avoiding the application of creams to the skin (they could reduce the adhesion of the electrodes) and wearing suitable clothing. (1)

It is recommended to dress in comfortable, soft and loose clothing. The purposes of this choice are dual: on the one hand, it makes the presence of the device less evident; on the other hand it prevents the electrodes from being crushed and then compromising the recording.

High-waisted tights, bodysuits and corsets must be avoided.

During a cardiac holter, a bra should not normaly be kept on, but if the patient has to or prefers to wear it, it is best to choose a soft model, without underwire or rigid elastic bands, which does not press on the electrodes and does not wrap the portion of the chest under the breasts, as it occurs with some types of lingerie and containment or sports underwear. (2)

Last but not least, during the test it is recommended to wear two-piece clothing: for example, a pair of trousers and a garment that can be easily lifted or opened such as a shirt, a large t-shirt, a sweatshirt with zipper or a cardigan. Long dresses, petticoats or other long garments would impede the access to the device applied to the chest.


Article written by Chiara Beretta


[1] Holter Monitor, Ateeq Mubarik e Arshad Muhammad Iqbal, Oak hill hospital (Brooksville, FL).

[2] Holter monitor instructions, Cardiology Associates of Sussex County (Newton, NJ).


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