Long term ECG (Event Monitor)

Long term ECG (Event Monitor)

This is a way of recording the heart’s rhythm over a long period of time such as 1 to 2 months and up to 6 months rather than 24 to 48 hours as is done with Holter recorders. This is a much simpler and less sophisticated recorder than a 24-hour ECG recorder but allows us to measure the heart’s rhythm during very infrequent or asymptomatic events. An alternative is to implant a loop recorder but this is an invasive procedure and designed for much longer recording periods of 3 or more years. The device is battery operated and sends recorded information via a standard telephone line to a website where the information is uploaded and transmitted to our practice.

Why is it done?

Diagnosis of Fits, Faints and ‘Funny Turns . Changes in heart function – either heart rhythm or blood pressure – can cause symptoms which lead to dizziness or loss of consciousness. This can result in falls and injuries and resemble non-heart related problems like balance disorders or epilepsy. Both fast and slow heart rhythms can disturb consciousness. Recording the heart rhythm from the ECG is valuable in making the diagnosis or excluding a heart related cause.

Diagnosis of the cause of palpitations.  Palpitations may be due to increased awareness of the normal beat of the heart, a sense of an irregular beat or fast heart beat due to a change in the heart’s rhythm (arrhythmia). Many disturbances of the heart’s rhythm are relatively harmless but others are not and detecting the type of heart arrhythmia is very important.
Monitoring for asymptomatic but infrequent arrhythmias . The test may be performed to look for arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (AF), or complex ventricular arrhythmias such as ventricular tachycardia (VT). This includes before and after treatments such as drug treatment of AF, to confirm the effectiveness of procedures such as ablation of arrhythmias like atrial fibrillation (AF), atrial flutter or supraventricular tachycardia (SVT) and less frequently ventricular tachycardia.

How is it done?

This (heartEVENT) is lightweight and easy to use. The device flashes to indicate it has recorded an event (which may have been asymptomatic). The patient can activate a recording during symptoms by pressing a button. The battery lasts for up to 2,500 recordings. It can only record up to 4 events before it has to be downloaded via a landline.

Event Monitoring

Download Patient Information Sheet on Event Monitor test here.