Abnormalities of cardiac rhythm are common, and may affect patients with or without cardiac disease. When the dysrhythmia is frequent, documentation is easily accomplished with brief periods of static monitoring. However, if the dysrhythmia is infrequent or transient, then extended monitoring is required. Continuous prolonged ambulatory cardiographic monitoring has been developed over the last 20 years for determining the frequency and duration of these electrical abnormalities, and has proved to be invaluable in the investigation of the patient with symptomatic disturbances of cardiac rhythm. 'Micro-chip' technology has allowed miniaturisation of many different portable recorders to document the patients heart rhythm during their normal daily activities, when rhythm disturbances are more likely to occur.
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