What are the two types of Cardiac Event Monitors?
There are two types of cardiac event monitors – the 24-hour Holter monitor and the Event monitor. A Holter monitor is a small device worn for 24 hours that records the heart’s rhythm to detect or determine the risk of irregular heartbeats. This is a good choice for identifying rhythm issues if you are experiencing frequent symptoms. An event monitor, on the other hand, is similar to a Holter monitor but is typically smaller and worn for longer periods of time. It includes a patch and an implantable loop recorder (ILR) or loop monitor.
How do you prepare for Cardiac Event Monitoring?
- 24-Hour Holter Monitor: Our medical assistants will program the device and apply the electrodes to the patient’s chest wall. The patient will be educated and then sent home with the device and extra supplies. The device will be returned a few days later.
- Event Monitor: These devices are typically provided by electrophysiologists, who specialize in heart rhythms.
Why is Cardiac Event Monitoring performed?
- 24-Hour Holter Monitor: This type of cardiac event monitor is used to monitor a patient’s heart rhythm for a short period of time, typically 24-48 hours. It can be helpful if the patient has already completed an MCT but experiences additional symptoms or has frequent symptoms that need to be evaluated.
- Event Monitor: This type of cardiac event monitor is beneficial for patients who need long-term monitoring, have frequent symptoms such as recurrent syncopal events, dizziness, stroke, or if they have a pacemaker. It is typically provided by electrophysiologists, who are specialized in dealing with heart rhythms.
What can you expect during Cardiac Event Monitoring?
- 24-Hour Holter Monitor: During the 24-hour holter monitor test, you will wear a small device that records your heart’s rhythm. You can carry out all of your normal daily activities like sleeping, driving, working, and light exercise. However, you should avoid traveling long distances and flying while wearing the device.
- Event Monitor: With an event monitor, you can also carry out your normal daily activities while being monitored. The duration of monitoring can range from a few days to a month or more, depending on the type of event monitor prescribed by your doctor.
What is the followup like for a Cardiac Event Monitoring?
- 24-Hour Holter Monitor: After returning the device, the medical team will upload and review your recorded heart rhythm. During your follow-up appointment, the results will be discussed with you in order to identify the cause of your symptoms.
- Event Monitor: Similar to the holter monitor, results of the event monitor will be reviewed with you during a follow-up appointment to determine the cause of your symptoms. For long-term monitors like the implantable loop recorder, monthly reports are generated to identify any arrhythmias over several months or years.
What are the potential risks for Cardiac Event Monitoring?
- 24-Hour Holter Monitor: The holter monitor is a low-risk test, and most patients tolerate it well without any complications. However, some patients may experience minor skin irritation or rash from the electrodes attached to their chest. This irritation usually resolves on its own once the monitor is removed.
- Event Monitor: The risks associated with event monitors, such as a patch or portable device, are similar to those of a 24-hour holter monitor. However, in the case of an implantable loop recorder (ILR), which is inserted under the skin, there is a small risk of infection or pain as with any invasive procedure.
Are there related tests to Cardiac Event Monitoring?
Yes, there are related tests to cardiac event monitoring. Some of these tests include:
- Electrophysiology (EP) Study – A test that involves inserting catheters into the heart to measure electrical activity and identify any abnormal heart rhythms.
- Echocardiogram – A test that uses sound waves to create images of the heart to assess its structure and function.
- Stress Test – A test that involves exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike while being monitored for changes in heart rate and rhythm.
- Cardiac Catheterization – A test that involves inserting a thin, flexible tube (catheter) into a blood vessel in the arm or leg and threading it to the heart to check for blockages in the arteries or other problems.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG) – A test that measures the electrical activity of the heart to identify any irregular heart rhythms or other problems.