Medical Definition of Patient-activated cardiac event recorder

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Patient-activated cardiac event recorder: A device that is implanted directly under the skin and is programmable with looping memory that records electrocardiogram (ECG) tracings. The recorder is programmed by a physician to retrieve data, and display and print stored data. The device is usually inserted under local anesthesia in skin over the chest. The patient has a hand-held telemetry unit that he or she activates whenever there are symptoms to initiate ECG recording and storage. The monitor can store up to 40 minutes of signals after an episode. The device is removed after the battery has failed, (approximately 14 months) or earlier, if a definitive diagnosis has been established.

A patient-activated event recorder, also called an insertable loop recorder, is often used to document a suspected arrhythmia (irregular heartbeats) that may, for example, be the cause of fainting (syncope) or near-fainting spells.

Reviewed on 12/21/2018

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