A tilt table test is a test done to evaluate symptoms of syncope (fainting). If you have syncope, your healthcare provider will carefully evaluate your past medical history and do a physical exam. If the results of the exam or history do not show a cause for the syncope, and you have no history of heart disease, then further test may be scheduled.
A tilt table test attempts to determine the cause syncope by creating changes in posture from lying to standing. You will lie flat on a special bed or table with special safety belts and a footrest while connected to electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure monitors. The bed or table is then elevated to an almost standing position (60° to 80° vertical angle) to simulate standing up from a lying position. The blood pressure and ECG are measured during the test to evaluate changes during the position changes. If the test causes you to faint, the table will quickly be returned to a flat position to help you regain consciousness. The information collected can then be used to help your healthcare provider prescribe treatment.
You may need a tilt table test if you have recurring fainting and other causes were ruled out.
Syncope, or fainting, may be caused by various medical problems. Syncope may occur rarely to frequently, depending on the cause. Some causes of syncope may include:
There may be other reasons for your healthcare provider to advise a tilt table test.
Possible risks of tilt table testing include:
There may be other risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider before the test.
A tilt table test may be done on an outpatient basis or as part of your stay in a hospital. Procedures may vary depending on your condition and your healthcare provider’s practices.
Generally, a tilt table test follows this process:
You should be able to resume your normal diet and activities, unless your healthcare provider instructs you differently.
Generally, there is no special care following a tilt table test.
Tell your healthcare provider if you develop any signs or symptoms you had before the test (such as, dizziness or fainting).
Your provider may give you other instructions after the test, depending on your situation.
Before you agree to the test or the procedure make sure you know:
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