If you suffer from recurrent fainting spells, or syncope, your doctor may recommend a tilt table test. The test can help determine what causes you to faint and provide valuable data your doctor can use to better treat your conditions.
A tilt table test is an exam used to evaluate and diagnose the cause of fainting spells among patients.
Fainting spells can often be caused by various conditions, such an arrhythmia, low blood pressure, or vasovagal syndrome.
By changing your position from lying down to standing up in a controlled environment, the tilt test shows how your heart rate and blood pressure respond to a change in position. This helps determine what specifically is causing your fainting spells.
During the test, an IV is usually started to provide medication. A catheter may also be placed in the artery to monitor blood pressure.
Your doctor will also place electrodes and a blood pressure cuff to monitor your heart rate and blood pressure.
During the test, you’re strapped onto a table that moves between horizonal and vertical positions. As you’re moved between lying and standing positions, your doctors will monitor your vital signs for what causes you to faint.
If a cause for fainting is found, medications can be given through the intravenous line to help prevent the episodes. This information will help your doctor find the best way to treat these episodes.
If you faint during the procedure, you will be returned to a horizontal position until you regain consciousness.
A tilt table test is a safe procedure. Despite the unlikelihood of a complication occurring, the procedure does involve various side effects. These include nausea, blood pressure changes, dizziness, and changes in heart rate.