Cardiac event monitor is a small recording device used to detect abnormal heart rhythms. It is activated by the person, usually with a simple press of a button, when experiencing symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, lightheadedness, heart racing and/or fluttering. It is worn during normal daily activities, even when sleeping.

The monitor is about the size of a deck of cards and is connected to a set of wires which attaches to two electrodes the chest. It records and stores the heart rhythm and then transmits the results to a technician. Later the resulting report is sent to the doctor for review. This test helps guide the doctor to choose treatment options if needed.

The monitor can be worn over a period of time that can vary from days to weeks.

At the Cooper Heart Institute, we combine the expertise and experience of our physicians with advanced equipment and software to offer a full range of cardiac studies, including the use of cardiac event monitors.

What to expect

A technician will attach small, sticky patches (electrodes) to the chest. Wires are attached from the electrodes to a monitor, which can be worn on a belt or shoulder strap. When symptoms occur, a person must press a button to activate the recorder. During the time the monitor is worn, a person may be asked to record the dates and times for certain activities such as walking, resting, and eating, when medication is taken, and when symptoms occur.

The rhythm can be sent immediately or saved and transmitted later, over the phone line, depending on instructions given by the technician, or may be stored and read at the end of the testing period by the physician.

The monitor will be removed and returned as instructed. The final recordings will be reviewed by a cardiologist.