Tilt Table Test
A tilt table test is used to evaluate the cause of unexplained fainting (syncope).Your doctor may recommend a tilt table test if you've had repeated, unexplained episodes of fainting. A tilt table test may also be appropriate to investigate the cause of fainting if you've fainted only once, but another episode would put you at high risk of injury due to your work environment, medical history, age or other factors.
For a tilt table test, you begin by lying flat on a table. Straps are put around your body to hold you in place. After about 15 minutes of lying flat, the table is quickly tilted to raise your body to a head-up position — simulating a change in position from lying down to standing up.
The table will then remain upright for up to 45 minutes, while your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored. This allows doctors to evaluate your body's cardiovascular response to the change in position.
Why it is done?
Your doctor may recommend a tilt table test to evaluate the cause of syncope. A tilt table test may also be recommended if he or she suspects that vasovagal syncope is responsible for your fainting and needs additional testing to confirm the diagnosis.
Vasovagal syncope happens when the part of your nervous system that controls blood pressure and heart rate suddenly lowers your heart rate and blood pressure for a short time. Then, less blood flows to your brain and you may faint. This kind of syncope is also called neurocardiogenic syncope, reflex syncope and the common faint.
With vasovagal syncope, you may or may not have warning signs, such as weakness, sweating, blurred vision or nausea. Vasovagal syncope often is a response to something like the sight of blood or an upsetting situation. But it can happen with no clear trigger. This kind of syncope is more common while standing but also occurs while sitting or lying down.