Cambridge Cardiac Care Centre

Holter Monitor

Like an ECG, to go!

The Holter Monitor is a wearable device that tracks and records the electrical impulse of your heart continuously, over an extended period of time. The monitor is lightweight and relatively convenient to wear. This is an absolutely painless, non-invasive test to determine how your heart naturally responds to regular, daily activities and how your heart rhythms change at night when you sleep. As such, you will be fitted with the device and then sent on your way, wearing it out of the office and for the duration of the monitoring period. You will be given a Holter diary to record the time and nature of your activities while you are wearing the device. Do not restrict your activities in any way, do not remove the device, and do not get it wet. Please review further instructions below before your appointment.


Instructions BEFORE your appointment

In the interest of your appointment going smoothly and ensuring that the monitor is properly fitted for accurate results, please strictly follow the instructions outlined below.

  1. Bathe or shower before your Holter Monitor appointment. Remember, the device MUST NOT get wet.
  2. Do not apply lotions, oil or powder to your body before the appointment since this can interfere with placement and retention of the holter monitor electrodes.
  3. Wear loose clothing. A buttoned or zippered top will make placement of the electrodes and wires more comfortable for you.
  4. Bring a list of all the medications and supplements you take.
  5. Be prepared for a few small areas of your chest to be cleaned, marked and prepared for attaching the electrode sensors. For some people, this may require a small amount of shaving.
  6. You must return at your appointment time to have the monitor removed and data downloaded. The return appointment will take approximately 15-30 minutes.

Our Cardiovascular Technologist Team

Our highly trained CVT team is made up of some of the region’s most accomplished Cardiovascular Technologists, skilled in ECG, holter monitoring, stress testing, ambulatory blood pressure monitoring and spectrometry testing. With an emphasis on skill-building and a commitment to the pursuit of scientific excellence, our Cardiovascular Technologists (CVT) are the eyes and ears of the clinic, providing thorough and reliable clinical reports that are the underpinning of everything we do.

What to expect when wearing the monitor.

The holter monitor is a lightweight device, built to be as convenient as possible for the patient to wear for an extended period of time. The monitor is quite small and can be worn discreetly under a loose shirt. The main things to keep in mind are to ensure that the device does not get wet and that you continue to wear the device all day and night.

IMPORTANT Instructions while you are wearing the monitor.

You’ve got the device. Now what?

Your technologist will review the following information with you when you arrive. For added assurance, however, please read these instructions over thoroughly while you have the device on at home.

  1. You technologist will provide you with a Holter Diary at your appointment. Record your day’s activities in the diary, noting the time, duration and description of the activity. Include things like exercise, climbing stairs, engaging in intercourse, smoking cigarettes, sleeping, getting emotionally upset, taking medications, or engaging in other notable activities. The accuracy and usefulness of this test depend on how carefully you record your symptoms and activities and the times they occurred.
  2. Record any symptoms that you might experience in your Holter Diary. Include things such as dizziness, fainting, chest pain, and irregular heartbeat. Note down the time, duration and description of your symptoms.
  3. The recording device and the electrodes must not get wet. Do not bathe, shower or swim while wearing the holter monitor.
  4. At night, try to sleep on your back keeping the monitor carefully positioned at your side so that the electrodes and wires stay in position on your body and remain securely attached to the recording device. It is important to get accurate nighttime readings since it can help in diagnosing a number of conditions and rhythm abnormalities that only occur at night. This may also help give clues to sleep disorders like sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome.
  5. If the monitor does not appear to be recording, check that all electrodes are still in place on your chest and then press on the centre of each electrode to try to restore contact with the recording device. If an electrode or wire comes off entirely, please call 519-624-3511 for assistance.
  6. Do not use an electric blanket, electric shaver, a heating device for a waterbed or have an X-ray done while wearing the monitor. Signals from these types of electronic equipment may interfere with the recording.
  7. The technologist will have given you a return time to have the monitor removed. You must return at the assigned time so that the data in the monitor can be downloaded appropriately.

How long will the appointment take?

The Holter monitor requires two appointments. The first is to affix the monitor, test it and provide the patient with appropriate instructions. This appointment takes about 30 minutes. The technologist will give you a date and time for your second appointment to remove the device and download the data onto the computer for analysis. As well, the technologist will review your symptoms and Holter Diary to make sure that everything is in order. This second appointment also takes approximately 15-30 minutes.

Wait Times

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Cardiac Test Routine Test Wait Time Urgent Test Wait Time
ABPM 2 weeks Same day
ECG 24 hours Same day
Echocardiogram 2 weeks 36 hours
Stress Test (Exercise / Treadmill) 2 weeks Same day
Stress Echocardiogram 2 weeks 24 hours
Holter Monitor - 24 Hour 2 weeks 24 hours
Holter Monitor - 48 Hour 2 weeks 24 hours
Holter Monitor – 72 Hour 2 weeks 48 hours
Holter Monitor - 2 Weeks 2 weeks 48 hours
Spirometry 24 hours Same day

The above wait-times indicate the standard benchmarks that Cambridge Cardiac Care strives to meet each and every day. Unforeseen circumstances and Public Health mandates, may effect these wait times. Rest assured that timely access is a driving force at CCC: we will get you in as soon as possible, based on your assessed level of urgency.