Cardiac symptoms can be intimidating and affect many aspects of an individual’s life. Obtaining a diagnosis for cardiac symptoms is critical to creating a treatment plan. Fortunately, several tools can be utilized to determine the root of the problem. Two of the diagnostic tools that we often take advantage of during the diagnostic process are holter monitors and event monitors. These similar devices have some differences that will help determine which one should be used for each patient.

What Is a Holter Monitor?
A holter monitor is a device that the patient wears for a designated period that provides electrocardiogram (ECG) readings continuously for the entirety of the wear time. The typical timeframe that providers designate for patients to wear a holter monitor is between twenty-four and forty-eight hours. The device is fairly small so that the individual can participate in most of their daily activities while wearing it. Wires extend from the device and connect to sticky patches that adhere to the patient.
The overall setup, patch placement, and information obtained are similar to the EKGs performed in the clinic setting. Electrocardiograms provide information about heart rate, strength, and timing of beats and even indicate which chamber of the heart is acting or not acting at which interval. This provides details that tell medical providers where and what the problem is. An office ECG can be helpful, but they only provide seconds worth of information. Considering that cardiac problems are often transient, an office ECG may not capture the problem. However, a holter monitor providing hours or days’ worth of information will increase the likelihood of capturing any anomalies that may exist.

What Is An Event Monitor?
An event monitor shares several similarities with a holter monitor. Event monitors are also wearable devices that record ECG data. The main difference between these two devices is that event monitors do not record continuously. Event monitors record only specific points in time. Patients will wear these devices similarly to the setup of the heart monitor, but they will have a way to trigger the device to record. That way, when the patient experiences cardiac symptoms, they can activate the trigger and record the event. Since the information is not recorded continuously, the provider may request that the patient wear the device for a more extended period, such as a week.
The data will be recorded so the provider can read the ECG information for the designated timeframe. Patients are often asked to log the symptoms they experienced and their activity when the event recording occurred. For example, dizziness after standing, palpitations while resting, etc. This information can be useful to the provider as well. Event monitors are often utilized in cases with less frequent symptoms.

Why Would Someone Need a Portable Cardiac Monitor?
Patients who are recommended to wear these devices may experience a variety of symptoms. Often, they are experiencing palpitations, dizziness, chest pain, fainting, or unstable heart rate. Patients may also be ordered to wear one based on recent events, operations, or conditions. Patients who have recently experienced a stroke have been shown to benefit from prolonged portable cardiac monitoring. Generally, anyone experiencing or potentially experiencing cardiac symptoms could benefit from wearing a device.
They provide information to your cardiologist that can be critical in determining your proper treatment. Moreover, these methods are non-invasive, which makes their risks and costs minimal. These methods can be especially beneficial for individuals experiencing elusive or transient symptoms. These are difficult to detect in a medical office setting and can delay treatment.

Dr. Tiffany Di Piettro is a Fort Lauderdale specialized cardiologist determined to diagnose and treat her patients. She understands that symptoms can look different for each patient. This is often especially true for women who report experiencing cardiac disease and events differently than males do. Her concierge service will ensure that each of your concerns and symptoms are heard and addressed. Then, they will ensure that the treatment plan is tailored to your condition, medical history, and lifestyle. This comprehensive approach can involve medication, surgery, mental health treatment, and dietary plans. Contact  Dr. Tiffany Sizemore Di Pietro to become a patient .

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