Tilt Table Testing

Some people experience fainting spells (syncope) which may be caused by a vasovagal response. This is a complex, inappropriate response of the heart rate and blood pressure to adrenaline or changes in body position.

The tilt table test is performed to help determine if the vasovagal response may be the cause of your syncope. During the tilt table test, the physician will evaluate whether your heart rate and blood pressure change appropriately in relation to the change in position during the test.

Electrodes are placed on your chest and a blood pressure cuff on your arm, so that your heart rhythm and blood pressure can be continuously monitored throughout the test. Initially, you will be lying flat on a bed, or "table," and then the entire table will be tilted so that your head is almost upright. You will be continuously monitored in the tilted position for 45 minutes and then returned to a flat position.

At this time, you may be given a medication that will make your heart rate increase. Following that medication, you will again be tilted for 10-15 minutes. At any time during the procedure, you may experience symptoms that you previously experienced when you fainted or nearly fainted. If this occures, it is very important to notify the nurse and physician who will be in the room with you throughout the entire procedure.

After the test is completed, you can usually return home. If we have prescribed medication for you, we may need to to repeat the test after you have been on the medicaiton for a period of time.

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