Cardiac arrhythmias are frequently transient, occurring every few weeks or months. Many times, attempts to document these intermittent cardiac events with a 12 lead EKG or Holter monitor (24 hour EKG) are futile. Intermittent patient-activated EKG recording is a noninvasive cardiac test that helps physicians diagnose and evaluate transient symptoms that may be cardiac in origin, such as syncope, palpitations, shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and dizziness, which may not be captured for analysis by a traditional 24 hour Holter monitor. Event monitoring may also be warranted when extended periods of analysis are required. When a patient experiences a symptom, he or she activates the patient-activated ECG monitor, and the device records the ECG activity during the event. The device does not record the patient’s heart rhythm continuously, however, there are special Event monitors that do record automatically for specific arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythm) such as atrial fibrillation without prompting from the patient. The patient will be required to call in to the Event monitor company usually on a daily basis or after three to five events have been recorded and “download” the recorded rhythms. The Event monitor company converts the downloaded information into EKG rhythm strips, which are then sent to your physician for review and final interpretation. You will be contacted if any life threatening arrhythmias are detected.
What to Expect: While in the office, the patient will be required to disrobe from the waist up. Three electrodes will be placed on the patient’s chest wall, which are also attached to a recording device that is about the size of a pager, which can be attached to your waistband. You will be trained while in the office on how to activate the device to record during symptom events. You will also be trained in the office on how to download your recorded events. Your may be required to wear the Event Monitor for one week up to one month, depending on the frequency of your symptoms. You will not be able to shower, bathe, or swim while the monitor is connected, however, you will be provided with additional electrode pads so that your monitor may be removed and reapplied for personal hygiene. You will also be asked to keep a diary of your activities, especially during encountered symptoms. While the majority of Event monitors are applied in the office, some monitors can be applied in the home. This test is painless and does not require the use of any needles, dyes, or radiation. The application and instructions take approximately 30 minutes.
Preparation: There is no special preparation required; however body lotions should not be worn.
Locations: Currently, this test can be performed in our Farmington Hills and Novi offices.