The Heart and Vascular Clinic Nashville, TN

What Is A Tilt Table Test?

A Tilt Table Test is a test in which a patient is strapped to a table, which is then repositioned so as to mimic standing and sitting. The test is designed to identify the cause of unexplained fainting or flaws in the autonomic nervous system.

When Might I Need A Tilt Table Test?

If you are experiencing frequent lightheadedness or fainting, or showing signs of drastic drops in blood pressure, your doctor may recommend a Tilt Table Test. This test should help your doctor determine what is causing you to faint and what treatment is necessary.

What Should I Expect?

A Tilt Table Test typically takes about one to two hours.

Before the test begins:

  • You will have electrodes placed on your body to monitor your heart’s activity throughout the procedure.
  • You will have a blood pressure cuff placed on your body so that blood pressure can be monitored for changes.
  • Your body’s blood-oxygen level will be monitored by an oximeter.
  • You may also be connected to a defibrillator and given an IV.

During a Tilt Table Test, you will be strapped to a table that will change positions in order to mimic lying down and standing up. The table will change positions (lingering at times in each position) until a response is noted and sufficient data is gathered. You may or may not be administered a drug that will exaggerate response (typically if the first 30-45 minutes of the test did not produce any noticeable physical response).

Throughout the test, it is important that you refrain from moving so as not to affect results. Should you lose consciousness during the test, you will receive the appropriate medical attention so that you regain consciousness.

Note: If you experience any unusual sensations such as irregular heartbeat or nausea, be sure to inform the medical staff.

How Should I Prepare For The Procedure?

To prepare for a Tilt Table Test, be sure to talk to your doctor about any and all medications, allergies and medical conditions. It is also wise to bring a list of the medications you regularly take with you on the day of the test. Be sure to include dosage information!

You may be asked to fast for several hours prior to the Tilt Table Test.

If you faint during the Tilt Table Test, it is strongly advised that you have someone else drive you home. Just to be safe, you may want to make the appropriate arrangements ahead of time.

If you have any questions about the Tilt Table Test, please ask your doctor at your next appointment.

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