This is a test that records the heart rhythm over a period of time, usually from 24 hours to 72 hours continuously. A few self adhesive electrodes are attached to the skin and the wires are connected to a small box about the size of a portable music player.
The patient then goes home and continues with the normal daily activities whilst the monitor records a continuous ECG. During the recording period the patient has the possibility of pushing a button on the device that will mark the time on the recording when the button was activated. This is done to make note of the time that any particular symptoms were experienced. Additionally a description of the symptoms can be written in a diary. Once the test period id completed the recording is analysed and any symptoms experienced and marked can be correlated with the recorded ECG and a diagnosis can be made.