What are some tips for understanding Holter monitor results?


Quick Answer

An elevated average heart rate may indicate sinus tachycardia, excess levels of catecholamines or the presence of certain drugs, states Women's Health Advice. Premature atrial contractions, which may feel like skipped heartbeats, are often harmless unless other abnormalities are also present. Premature ventricular contractions commonly result from high blood pressure, cardiomyapathy, heart valve disease or the use of certain drugs.

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Full Answer

Data generated by a Holter monitor may be interpreted to indicate arrhythmias, or irregular heart rhythms, such as atrial fibrillation, palpitations, paroxysmal supraventricular tachycardia, bradycardia and ventricular tachycardia, according to MedlinePlus. In conjunction with information in the wearer's diary, the data may also indicate the reason for fainting. In cases where abnormalities are suspected but go undetected by a 24-hour Holter monitor, a doctor may recommend an event recorder or wireless Holter monitor that can be worn for a longer period of time.

To ensure the most effective interpretation of data generated by a Holter monitor, the person wearing the device should maintain a diary that includes a record of all daily activities and the exact times they begin and end, explains Mayo Clinic. In addition, the wearer should note any symptoms, such as shortness of breath or chest pain, and should not remove the device once monitoring begins.

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