Stanford Cardiac Arrhythmia Service

Tilt Table Testing

The purpose of the tilt table test is to evaluate the patient for possible causes of loss of consciousness, dizziness, or tachycardia that may be affected by the autonomic nervous system.

Procedure

Results

The reproducibility of symptoms is noted and the patient’s heart rhythm, blood pressure, and pulse during symptoms are compared.

The pattern of change in blood pressure and heart rate are noted.

A drop in heart rate with a drop in blood pressure is most consistent with a neurocardiogenic mechanism of syncope (increase in the parasympathetic arm of the autonomic nervous system), which is the "common faint." 

An increase in heart rate and drop in blood pressure is most consistent with orthostatic hypotension due to pooling of blood in the legs.

A failure to increase heart rate and drop in blood pressure is most consistent with autonomic failure/dysautonomia.

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