A loop recorder or monitor is a small device that gets inserted under the skin to monitor your heart’s electrical activity over an extended period of time.
It provides your doctor with similar information you get when you undergo an EKG or ECG in the office. But unlike the ECG which is one instance in time, and the Holter monitor that’s designed to run continuously for 48 to 72 hours, the loop recorder or monitor can record data for up to 3 years.
The loop monitor is an excellent tool to evaluate symptoms which are sporadic instead of consistent. If, for example, your symptoms only occur every couple of weeks or so, the monitor will be able to capture what’s happening with your heart’s electrical system at the time. Like the Holter monitor, the loop monitor captures and stores your ECG data.
Participate in the Process
Like other portable heart monitors, your doctor may ask you to keep a diary of your symptoms while using the loop recorder. Each night loop recorder device will send the data it recorded to an analysis center, which in turn sends a report to your doctor. This way if you have symptoms or should a rhythm abnormality arise, you and your doctor will have the relevant results right away.
When you receive an ECG, or electrocardiogram, in the doctor’s office, the machine only captures your heart’s activity for that brief moment in time.
In actuality, however, your cardiac symptoms and abnormal heart rhythms occur throughout the day, as well as under varying circumstances. An event monitor like the loop monitor captures the data over a more realistic timeline.
Typically, the loop monitor is used to record heart arrhythmias, events that cause you to have a slow, irregular or fast heartbeat.
After analyzing the data you gathered while using the loop recorder, your cardiologist is better informed to make a firm diagnosis or to decide which test you might need next. Information that your doctor can glean from the monitor include:
- What’s causing your palpitations, dizziness, or loss of consciousness
- If the medicine you’re taking is doing its job
- If you’re having silent arrhythmias, such as atrial fibrillation that predispose you to other conditions such as stroke
To get your heart checked out by expert NYC cardiologists, schedule an appointment with Dr. Michael Ghalchi at NYC Cardiology, Manhattan Cardiovascular Associates.
Dr. Michael Ghalchi, Cardiologist (Cardiologist NYC, Midtown)
New York, NY10010
(Between Madison Ave & Park Ave)
61 Broadway, Ste 900
New York, NY 10006
(Near the New York Stock Exchange)