What is a Tilt-Table Test?
The Tilt table test (also known as a passive head-up tilt test or head upright tilt test) is a test used to investigate the cause of recurrent blackouts (also called syncope) suspected to be due to Vasovagal syncope.
What is Vasovagal Syncope?
What are the benefits of a tilt table test?
Who will benefit from this test?
How to prepare for the test
Fasting for the test
How is the test performed?
Before the test
- Tilt-Table : You will lie on a tilt-table with soft Velcro straps placed across your body to secure you when the table is tilted during the test.
- Intravenous (IV) line placement : A small bore IV line will be placed into a vein in your arm for delivering medications during the second part of the test if needed.
- Blood pressure (BP) cuffs will be placed around both arms and attached to monitors to measure your BP during the test.
- Electrodes (small, sticky patches) will be placed on your chest and connected to an ECG monitor. This allows continuous recording of heart rate and rhythm during the test.
During the test
- While lying supine, your heart rate and blood pressure response will monitored closely while the table is tilted in a head-up position at different levels. You will always be tilted upright so your head is above your feet; you will never be tilted upside-down.
- Throughout the test, the nurse or technician will ask you how you feel. You may not have any symptoms, or you may experience pre-syncope symptoms (called premonitory symptoms), such as light-headedness, dizziness, nausea, palpitations (fluttering in the chest) or blurred vision.
- The purpose of the test is not to make you faint, although fainting may occur. If this happens, the table will be put back to the flat position immediately.
- Your blood pressure, heart rate and ECG will be constantly monitored throughout the test and together with your symptoms, will help our doctor diagnose the underlying cause of your condition.
After the Test
- The tilt table will be lowered to a flat position and you will be observed for 5-10 minutes as your BP, heart rate and ECG are recorded.
- You will be monitored for another 15-20 minutes after completion of the test, or until all the symptoms you may have experienced during the test have resolved.
- The IV line will be removed after the test. Bruising and swelling at the IV site are common reactions and will subside with time.
- Duration of the test: This test takes about 60-90 minutes to complete but it may be shorter depending on the changes observed in your BP and heart rate.
- Going home after the test: Though you will usually be able to go home independently after the test, we recommend that you have someone accompany you home after the test.
How does the doctor use this test to manage my condition?
1. Positive Tilt table Test
2. Negative Tilt table Test
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