Long Term Cardiac Event Monitoring

What is a long-term cardiac event recorder?

A cardiac event recorder is a battery-powered portable device that you control to record your heart’s electrical activity (ECG) when you have symptoms. It records your ECG when you have fast or slow heartbeats, feel dizzy, or feel faint. The cardiac event monitor will store the ECG recording in its memory, which can be sent by telephone to a receiving center.

Why is this test performed?

The purpose of the cardiac event recorder is to record your heart rate and rhythm during a symptom (“event”) for a patient who experiences symptoms sporadically. The monitor takes recordings only when the patient turns on the device. Wearing a monitor can determine:
-If your medicines are working.
-If a pacemaker or an implantable cardioverter defibrillator (CID) is working properly.
-Why you have symptoms such as chest pain, dizziness, faintness, or the feeling that your heart is racing or skipping a beat.
-If your heart is getting enough oxygen

How is this test performed?

Cardiac loop monitors are programmed to record your ECG for a period of time while you are having symptoms. Cardiac loop monitors have electrodes that attach to your chest. Wires are attached from the electrodes to the device. You must push a button to activate the recording, and it stores your ECG for the period before and during your symptoms.  
You will be asked to send your recordings by telephone to a receiving center, by placing the telephone mouthpiece over the microphone on the front of the monitor. A nurse or doctor at the office receives your ECG tracing and analyzes it.
Depending on the reason for using an event recorder, you may need to wear it for several days up to a month. This way, your doctor will be able to determine if your irregular heartbeats require more testing or treatment.

What are the risks associated with a long-term cardiac event recorder?

Wearing a cardiac event recorder has no risks and causes no pain. IF you wear electrode patches, the adhesive might irritate your skin. If this does occur, irritation should disappear when the electrodes are removed.