Ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG)

Ambulatory ECGWhat is ambulatory electrocardiogram?

An ambulatory electrocardiogram (ECG) is a painless test that records the electrical activity of the heart for a period of between 1 and 14 days. The test allows your doctor to be able to collect information on your heart rhythm while you are carrying out your normal activities.

What is the purpose of this test?

This test may be recommended by your doctor if they are concerned that you have an abnormal heart rhythm. Common referral reasons for ambulatory ECG monitoring include intermittent palpitations, dizzy spells or blackouts.

What happens during an ambulatory ECG?

The test is performed by a specialist cardiac physiologist. The physiologist will place stickers (electrodes) onto your chest which are connected to a small recording device (the ECG monitor).

You will then be advised to go about your daily activities for the next 1-14 days. This can include exercising and bathing or showering. The physiologist will provide you with full instructions at the time of your appointment.

You may also be asked to record the times when you experience any symptoms in a diary. Once the recording is complete, you will be asked to remove the monitor and return it so your ECG can be analysed. 

How long does the procedure take?

The whole procedure should take no more than about 15 minutes to perform.

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