Tilt Table Testing
A tilt table test is a diagnostic test that will help us to figure out the cause of your fainting or of the symptoms you are having. This test starts with you lying flat on a special table which will move you into an upright (standing) position. Your heart rate and blood pressure will be watched carefully during the test. The test takes two hours.
Getting Ready for a Tilt Table Test
• Do not eat or drink anything 4 hours prior to the test.
• You can take your morning medicine with a sip of water unless otherwise instructed by your doctor or nurse practitioner (NP).
• Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes.
What to Expect During Your Tilt Table Test
You may be asked to wear a gown. You will lie down on the special table. You will then have sticky patches (electrodes) placed on your chest. Blood pressure cuffs will be placed on your fingers and your arm. An intravenous (IV) line will be placed in your arm or hand in case you need fluids or medicine. The table has safety straps that will wrap around you to keep you safe when the table is being tilted to the upright position.
The test is started with you lying flat on the table. The table is then tilted to the upright position for about thirty minutes. Your blood pressure, heart rate, and symptoms will be watched carefully throughout the test. You may need medicine to help reproduce your symptoms. If you faint at any time during the test, the table is returned to the flat position and you are watched carefully. Once your test is complete you may return to your normal activities.
A tilt table test is safe and the risk for any problems is rare. However, as with any medical test, there are risks. Possible problems include low blood pressure and a pause between heart beats. This can be resolved after you and the table are returned to the flat position.
Your doctor will discuss your results, and next steps, if any, with you after the test.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 10/02/2013
Copyright © 10/02/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7465
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