Tilt Table Tests

Diagnosis for the Cause of Fainting Spells

If you have been the victim of frequent, unexplained fainting spells, your doctor may recommend a tilt table test. This test monitors blood pressure and heart rate and how your cardiovascular system responds to changes in position. It is primarily used to diagnose syncope, which is a disorder where an individual faints due to low blood pressure reducing the blood flow to the brain. Syncope can be very dangerous as the fainting spells are not often preempted with warning signs like sweating or nausea, giving the victim little time to prepare for a safe fall.

Preparing for the Test

There is not much you need to do to prepare for a tilt table test. Continue to take medications as prescribed unless instructed otherwise. The night before your test, stop eating and drinking after midnight. Be sure to have someone ready to drive you to and from the doctor’s office, as you may feel lightheaded afterwards.

How it Works

In the tilt test, patients lie face up on a table and are gently strapped into place. After 15 minutes of lying flat, the table is moved upwards to simulate the sensation of standing up after lying down. This upright position is held for roughly 45 minutes while doctors monitor the cardiovascular system.

During the test, you will be connected to four devices:

  • Pacemaker
  • Electrocardiogram
  • Oximeter monitor
  • Blood pressure monitor

Some patients faint during the test, which is a clear indicator they have syncope. Otherwise, the doctors review the results of the cardiovascular response and may diagnose the precise cause of the fainting spells.

The tilt table test is available in Fremont at Washington Township Medical Foundation where they are performed by highly experienced cardiologists. If you have frequent fainting spells, it is important to seek help as soon as possible to prevent a serious injury.