A tilt table test shows how your heart and blood vessels react to changes in body position. When moving quickly to an upright position, blood pressure normally drops and the pulse (heart) rate increases. This normal event allows the body to maintain blood pressure.
At Dignity Health of Arizona, you can trust your heart to our experts. We are a nationally recognized leader in heart and vascular care and offer a wide range of cutting-edge services to help you. If you have been experiencing fainting and want to learn more about tilt table tests in Arizona, Find a Doctor online or call (800) 792-1602.
Why a Tilt Table Test is Performed
Doctors order tilt table tests to evaluate the cause of unexplained fainting, near fainting, dizziness, and lightheadedness. The medical term for fainting is syncope (SI)NG-kuh-pee. A tilt table test can trigger symptoms and show if syncope is due to blood pressure or heart rate control problems. Either of these problems can cause you to feel lightheaded because your brain is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood.
What to Expect: Tilt Table Tests at Dignity Health
One of our doctors, nurses, or technicians will perform your tilt table test in a hospital or medical center. The provider will attach painless electrodes to your chest, arms, and legs. You’ll also have a blood pressure cuff on your arm and an IV (i)ntravenous line for medicines.
You will lie down on the tilt table and the provider will secure you to it with straps. You lie horizontally for about 15 minutes. Then, the table will quickly tilt to almost a standing position. Your team will monitor your blood pressure and heart rate during this time and for up to 45 minutes afterward. You’ll need to remain still during this time and tell your team if you have any symptoms.
If you don’t experience any symptoms, the team may use an IV medicine called isoproterenol (Isuprel) to increase your heart rate. They will repeat the test after you received the medicine. Afterward, the table will return to a flat position. You will rest while the team monitors you for 15 to 30 minutes.
Risks and complications of tilt table testing include low blood pressure, dizziness, fainting, headache, heart palpitations, and nausea. These usually go away with rest.
What Your Tilt Table Test Results Mean
A cardiologist will interpret the tilt test results. You may get the results right after the test. The results are either positive or negative. A negative result means your blood pressure did not fall during the test and you had no other symptoms. A positive result means your blood pressure fell or your heart rate was slow during the test, and you felt faint or dizzy. For positive results, your doctor may recommend more tests. Your doctor may also consider changing your medicines or recommend a pacemaker to maintain a normal heart rhythm.
Serving arrhythmia patients with personalized care, Dignity Health offers tilt table tests in Arizona.