Tilt table testing is a simple test that helps the doctor pinpoint the cause of your fainting by checking how changes in body position can affect your blood pressure.
St. Joseph's Heart & Vascular Institute provides exceptional diagnostics for our heart and vascular patients. Our physicians use the latest technology to ensure an accurate diagnosis so we can provide you with the best course of treatment available.
What To Expect During A Tilt Table Test
The tilt table test tries to recreate fainting symptoms while your blood pressure and heart rate are monitored. To do this, you are placed on a table that is tilted upward. The test can be done in a hospital or at your doctor's office. The entire procedure may take up to 60 minutes. The testing room is kept quiet and dimly lit. During the test:
- Small pads (electrodes) are put on your chest to monitor your heartbeat
- A blood pressure cuff is put on your arm
- An IV (intravenous) line may be placed in your other arm to deliver fluids
- You'll be asked to lie flat on the table. Your upper body and thighs will be held in place with straps
- The table tilts until you are almost standing upright
- You'll remain upright for up to 60 minutes. In most cases, the test is over in 30-45 minutes
- Occasionally, people are given certain medications and retested. These medications may make you feel shaky.
Report any symptoms you have during the test. Let the doctor or technician know if you notice:
- Overall weakness
- Dimmed vision
- Sweating or lightheadedness
- A rapid heartbeat
- Any other symptoms
After the test you're likely to be sent home right away. It's a good idea to have a friend or family member drive. If you fainted during the test, you may want to rest for a few hours once you're home.
Any medications used during the test should leave your system within 15 minutes. If you were told to skip daily medications before the test, ask if you should start taking them again.
Preparing For A Tilt Table Test
Try to arrive 15 minutes early for your appointment. This will allow time to check in. Prepare for the test as directed. In addition:
- When you schedule the test, be sure to mention all the medications you take. Ask if you should stop taking any of them the day of the test
- A few days ahead, arrange for a ride home after the test
- Don't eat or drink anything after midnight the day of your test
- On the day of the test, dress for ease and comfort. Wearing a two-piece outfit is suggested because you will need to undress from the waist up and put on a short hospital gown