Electrocardiography, Holter monitors, treadmill tests and transtelephonic monitors are four techniques that identify irregularities in heart rate, or arrhythmia, according to the American Heart Association. All of these tests are non-invasive and painless.Continue Reading
To perform an electrocardiogram, a doctor places electrodes on the arms, legs and chest to track the heart's electrical activity, writes the American Heart Association. The machine records the results on paper or on a computer. A doctor analyzes the rate and regularity of heartbeats from this output.
For patients who require more continuous monitoring, a physician can recommend a Holter monitor, also known as a continuous ambulatory electrocardiographic monitor, notes the American Heart Association. This is a portable electrocardiogram that records information about heart rate continuously for 24 hours. A patient may also keep a diary of activities and symptoms; together, this log and the Holter monitor recordings can help a physician identify the types of activities associated with a patient's arrhythmia. As an alternative, a physician may recommend a transtelephonic monitor for patients with infrequent or short-lived arrhythmia symptoms. A patient keeps this small machine for one or two months and uses it to collect an electrocardiogram recording when he feels symptomatic.
A treadmill test is a diagnostic exam appropriate for patients with suspected exercise-induced arrhythmia, the American Heart Association explains. A patient undergoing this test walks or runs on a treadmill while a physician records heart rate and rhythm.Learn more about Diagnostics & Imaging