AF Association

7 Day Monitor Results

Hi, first of all, Happy New Year to everyone! My GP referred me to the Cardiology department of local hospital, following some episodes of dizziness, rapid and/or erratic heartbeat. I had an ECG and the Cardiologist said I had tachycardia and arranged for a 7 day monitor and an echocardiogram. I got a copy of the Cardiologist's letter to my GP today which says "her seven day tape only shows a few supraventricular ectopics and no significant arrhythmias". I have yet to have the echocardiogram, that is booked for next month, then I see the Cardiologist again in March.

What I'm unsure about is, when I had the monitor fitted, the lady told me that if I get a lot of the same symptoms, eg palpitations, dizziness or fast heartbeat, not to press the button every time, but just to press a few times so they can see it, "otherwise they get bored having to sit looking at loads of the same things". I didn't quite understand, but I wasn't worried as I understood, I think, that the monitor records you all the time anyway. During the seven days no dizziness or anything horrible in particular, but lots of palpitations, or ectopics, daily, so I just pressed maybe once a day for that, they only last a few seconds. But I did have one day where I had a fast heartbeat, not super fast, between 120-130 bpm, it lasted for 10 hours, so I did press the button for that and wrote it in the diary. So would that be classed as "insignificant" do you think? I don't know what to make of it really. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

6 Replies

I don't know what they do when they look at the records from a monitor, but IF they only look at the bits when you pressed the button, possibly what the nurse suggested you do has maybe led them to the conclusion that not much happened? I'm guessing.

i.e. If you had loads of ectopics, but only pressed the button once per day (so as not to bore them!), then the EP might think you only had one or two ectopics that day, and ectopics are quite normal in small quantities aren't they? (I am NOT medical, that is a question and what I believe/have been told).

When I took my last 7 day monitor back, my EP said that my written records matched the monitor and what I was feeling was AF. What I was feeling was really, really tiny, like a little twitching. It was extremely insignificant, but my EP arranged an ablation on the basis of the symptoms to nip it in the bud. I certainly have never been told not to record too much in case it bores them!

Best wishes



Hi and Happy New Year to you.

I agree with Koll. Your EP needs an accurate record before making a diagnosis. I was told to bring the machine back when I had pressed the button 5 times OR after the 6th day. I believe this has something to do with the limited battery or memory capacity. I would talk to the specialist because I think that this nurse may be giving out inaccurate information.


I had many monitor sessions before my AF was finally diagnosed - and that was when the tail end of an episode was picked up at a routine BUPA medical. I don't actually think monitors are much good at picking up AF - or it might just be the opeerator. I was fobbed off with ectopics for a long time.


Hi and firstly this may not be the case with all monitors but being an engineer I asked all about mine. When you press the button, it records three minutes of activity including the minute before you press the button. How does it do that? Well it is recording on a loop which deletes unless captured by the button. If you don't press then nothing stays in memory. I feel you may have been wrongly advised or at least the problem not properly explained to you. Innocently thinking that it was all going to record you understandably felt they would see it .but all they see is the times you press. Maybe worth discussing with your EP when you see them.


PS With mine which was about nine years ago I downloaded every evening to a computer at the hospital via telephone link. Dial a number, wait for a squark put machine to mouthpiece of phone and press button, Lots of squeaks and burps and then a Thank you message. When I took the machine back (after two weeks) they already had all the results printed off. for the doc to read.


Hi Auntielala

I had a 7 day monitor three years ago, it didn't have a button to press but I did have to make a note of dizziness etc in the diary. I recorded nothing as I hadn't experienced anything. The cardiologist said my heart showed AF with Flutter and I hadn't felt a thing.

Three years later I have just had a post ablation 24 hour monitor. The instructions stated everything had to be recorded in the diary - including times of no symptoms as the EP wanted a full picture of everything that was happening. Quite the opposite of not wanting to bore the doctors.

It sounds as if the nurse did you a dis-service with what she told you.

Hope that helps


Thank you all so much for your helpful replies. It's not that I thought I had AF during the time I was wearing the monitor, I did have a lot of what I now understand to be ectopics, and one ten hour episode of fast pulse, when I did press button at the start of it and recorded end time, but as the report says no significant arrhythmias, I assume that 120-130bpm isn't significant. I didn't have anything like the episodes I've had previously, about four or five in the last 12 months, so I'm thinking that the chances are that the monitor wouldn't have picked up anything anyway even if I'd pressed the button loads. I will try to mention all this to the cardiologist when I see him in March though. Meanwhile, I still have the echocardiogram to have next month.

Many thanks again, I hope you are all well just now, good luck to you all!


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