What is a cardiac holter?

29 November 2021

Tachycardia, palpitations or a feeling of fainting or sinking in the heart.
In these cases, it might be useful to investigate the symptoms using a cardiac holter.
In the following article we will explain what a cardiac holter is and how the examination is carried out to monitor the electrical activity of the heart.

What does a cardiac holter do?
According to Holter, the dynamic electrocardiogram or more commonly known as Holter ECG or Cardiac Holter is a non-invasive diagnostic test which, thanks to a portable battery-powered electrocardiograph, records the heart electrical activity continuously for a period of 24 or even 48-72 hours and during the patient’s normal daily activities.
Unlike the classic electrocardiogram, which lasts only a few seconds, the usage of Holter ECG allows you to obtain more detailed and complete information about your cardiac activity.

When is the Holter ECG useful? When do you have to carry out the examination?
The cardiac holter is used to identify cardiac pathologies with intermittent and sporadic evolution, such as arrhythmias and alterations in the electrical conduction of the heart that a simple ECG could not be able to detect.
More specifically, the Holter ECG examination is prescribed by the doctor for (1):

• Evaluating any irregular heart rhythm: it checks the presence of cardiac arrhythmias such as extrasystoles (for example, in this case the symptoms can be a palpitation, temporary lack of heartbeat, or a skipped heartbeat), tachycardia, bradycardia or atrial fibrillation.
Furthermore, the Holter ECG examination evaluates if the irregular heartbeats are supraventricular or ventricular, checks their exact number, how often they occur in 24-48 hours, and their tendency to lead to complex arrhythmias. It provides the cardiologist with precise and extremely useful data for evaluating any treatments that need to be taken.

• Evaluating the possible presence of cardiac ischemia: the Holter ECG examination analyzes the temporary reduction or lack of blood supply to the heart muscle;

• Detecting pathologies of uncertain cardiac origin: the Holter ECG exam checks the presence of other pathologies with uncertain origin and is used to exclude the presence of silent arrhythmias (not detected or felt by the patient);

• Evaluating the effectiveness of an antiarrhythmic drug therapy

The cardiac holter is also dedicated to athletes and sporty people. In particular (2):
• To athletes who have reported symptoms such as arrhythmias and/or palpitations; to athletes in whom arrhythmias were found during the sports medical examination for competitive fitness;
• To athletes with already known arrhythmias to evaluate the effects of training and their suitability to sport activities;

How the Holter ECG examination is carried out

The Holter ECG examination is a non-invasive and painless examination.
The doctor or the pharmacist will apply the device to the patient, who will wear it for at least 24 consecutive hours (and up to a maximum of 8 days with the new holter ECG Faros by ActiveAction). During the examination period, the patient will be able to carry out his/her normal activities. After 24 hours, the patient will come back to the pharmacy or the medical clinic to uninstall the device and receive the examination report.
Nowadays it is possible to carry out the examination directly at the pharmacy you trust or from the comfort of your home, thanks to ActiveAction’s telemedicine services.
You will carry out the exam avoiding the long waiting times and with the guarantee of receiving an examination reported by specialist cardiologists.

ActiveAction’s Faros holter ECG: invisible under clothes and provided with maximum effectiveness

Faros is an innovative holter ECG with a small size and an internal rechargeable battery, comfortable to wear and extremely versatile.
Faros holter ECG allows to monitor the heart electrical activity for up to 8 consecutive days, detecting occasional arrhythmias or other heart deseases, unidentifiable during the short examination time of a standard electrocardiogram.
Like traditional cardiac holters, Faros must be worn for at least 24 hours and the patient must continue to carry out his/her normal daily activities throughout the day.
Its low weight (it weights only 16 grams) guarantees freedom of movement and its small size makes it invisible under clothes. This allows the patient to carry out all daily activities in complete freedom.
How to apply Faros holter ECG

ActiveAction’s holter ECG offers different methods of application and measurement:
• Application with electrodes: it is reccommended for a complete, 3-or 5- channel cardiac function recording;
• Application with patches: it is waterproof, without wires, and ideal for athletes.

Faros Holter ECG has been designed to ensure the high quality of the long monitoring of the cardiac activity and the extreme versatility of measurement, even during phisical activities.

If you want to learn more about the features of our cardiac holter and how to carry out the exam directly from home, click here.
If you want to carry out the examination at the pharmacy, click here to find the pharmacy closest to you.

[1] Application of Modern Multi-Sensor Holter in Diagnosis and Treatment - by Erik Vavrinsky, Jan Subjak, Martin Donoval, Alexandra Wagner, Tomas Zavodnik and Helena Svobodova (Maggio 7, 2020)

[2] Are heart rate monitors valuable tools for diagnosing arrhythmias in endurance athletes? - R. Gajda, E. K. Biernacka, W. Drygas (Maggio 19, 2017)


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