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What is it?

The tilt table test is a test in which a patient is positioned in a supine position and brought to a predetermined angle or angles from the horizontal position. Such positioning helps to determine the cause of any decrease in oxygen to the brain. Different types of drugs may also be used in the testing process.

Why is it important?

The tilt table test helps determine appropriate therapy for individuals with fainting (syncope) and presyncope of unexplained origin.

Before the Procedure
  • Do not eat or drink anything after 12midnight the morning of the procedure
  • Take all medications with just a sip of water.
  • Inform the doctor about all the medications you are taking.
  • Inform the doctor of any allergies to any medications.
During the Procedure
  • The individual is placed on a circle bed frame, like the one used for a person who has injured their spinal cord. This type of bed allows the person to be positioned lying flat and then upright without any effort on their part.
  • The blood pressure and heart rate are continuously measured.
  • If the person does not faint with positioning alone, an intravenous medicine called Isuprel (EYE-soh-prehl) is given.
  • The test is considered positive and stopped, if the person faints or feels like they are about to faint.
  • If the test is positive, medications may be prescribed by a cardiologist to treat the problem.
After the Procedure
  • The patient is asked to transfer from the supine position to a sitting position, and is observed for a short period of time.
  • During this time and after several minutes in the sitting position, any symptoms of dizziness and vertigo are noted.
  • When ready, the individual transfers from the sitting position to standing.
  • After additional observation and taking of vital signs, the individual is allowed to go home.