ZocdocAnswersCan they run an arrhythmia diagnostic using just my pulse?

Question

Can they run an arrhythmia diagnostic using just my pulse?

I do not want to be hooked up to electrical wires. I am a 28 year old woman and the thought of it creeps me out. Is there another way to run their arrhythmia diagnostics? Maybe my pulse?

Answer

Unfortunately analyzing the pulse alone will not be able to provide enough detailed information about the specific type of heart beat responsible for your symptoms. The electrodes applied to your chest help physicians determine exactly what type of rhythm is affecting your heart. Both Holter Monitors and Event Recorders both require at least a few electrodes to be placed on the skin so that this information can be gathered and recorded. If your symptoms of arrhythmia are occurring on an infrequent basis, then you may be a candidate for an implantable loop recorder. This tiny device is implanted under the skin near the collar bone and can stay in place for up to two years at a time. While it is a bit more invasive than the other options, it at least does not require you to wear the electrodes on your chest. You should talk with your doctor about these different types of investigative strategies.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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