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What is an implantable loop recorder (ILR)?

An implantable loop recorder (ILR) is used for patients with syncope and atrial fibrillation, to correlate symptoms with heart rhythms.

An implantable loop recorder is a recorder that can be implanted under the skin to record heart rhythm for up to 3 years.

Dr. Kushal K. Handa, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Implantable loop recorders (ILR) are diagnostic tools used to aid in the diagnosis of syncope (fainting caused by insufficient blood supply to the brain), and passing out spells. They do not provide therapy. With ILR, patients may "save" recordings of their heart rhythms when they occur for later interpretation. The expected longevity of an ILR is approximately 14 months.

Sometimes your cardiologist will want to gather information about how your heart functions over a period of time outside of the medical office. One method for gathering data is an implantable loop recorder, a medical device that is placed beneath the skin in the chest to record data about heart events over a long period of time—up to two years. This type of monitoring can help diagnose someone who has infrequent symptoms. You can typically return home and to normal activity the same day the device is surgically implanted at the hospital.

This is a temporary implant that helps diagnose cardiac arrhythmias that are difficult to detect, such as those that occur only sporadically. This device creates a record of a patient’s heart rate and rhythm for later analysis and is then removed.

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