Tilt Table Testing

What is a Tilt Table Test?

The tilt table test is a medical test to determine whether fainting is caused by a drop in blood pressure, a drop in pulse rate or both. The table you are lying on is moved at different angles. At each angle, your blood pressure and heart rate (pulse rate) are recorded. The head remains on the table at all times. It is a test to diagnose vasovagal syncope and to understand its subtypes.

Tilt Table Test
Tilt Table Test

What is tilt table test used for?

The tilt table test shows how your heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure are affected when your head is upright. Your doctor will use this information to find the cause of symptoms such as dizziness and fainting spells (syncope) and plan your treatment.

Why is a Tilt Table Test Performed?

A tilt table test is performed to find the cause of dizziness or fainting, especially when fainting while standing or in a bad sight, smell, crowded or hot environment. A tilt table test may be performed if the cause of syncope is completely unclear or if your doctor suspects a condition called autonomic system dysfunction.

Where Is Tilt Table Testing Performed?

The tilt table test is performed in a hospital or clinic with an inclination laboratory or electrophysiology laboratory.

How long does the tilt table test take?

The test can take about 1 or 1.5 hours, but this time varies from person to person. The purpose of the test is to recreate the fainting state, so if fainting symptoms occur, the procedure is terminated. Because we will have the information we need.

What to do before the Tilt Table Test?

Eat a normal meal the evening before your procedure. Do not eat or drink for four hours before the test. Sometimes your doctor may set this time as 8 hours. Continue taking your medicines at their normal times unless your doctor tells you otherwise.

How is the Tilt Table Test Performed?

An intravenous line is opened at least half an hour before the procedure. The patient is placed on the test table and strapped in. The tilt of the table is gradually made upright up to 70 degrees and you are as if you are standing. Depending on the situation, the patient is also given a short-acting blood pressure lowering drug for provocation. Pulse and blood pressure are closely monitored. When the test is positive, i.e. when fainting occurs, the table is returned to its normal position and the person is provided to recover.

What Does a Positive or Negative Tilt Table Test Mean?

If the tilt table test is positive, fainting has occurred. If the tilt table test is negative, fainting has not occurred.

Is Tilt Table Testing Safe?

Yes, tilt table testing is safe. However, all tests and procedures carry some risks. It is not performed in people with coronary artery disease or carotid artery stenosis. In pregnant women, it causes risk not to the mother but to the baby. Therefore, it should not be done.

Reference: Tilt Table

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Picture of Prof. Dr. Taylan Akgün
Prof. Dr. Taylan Akgün

He is a cardiologist specialised in the diagnosis and treatment of heart rhythm problems (ablation), pacemaker procedures.
He works in Istanbul province.

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