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Tilt table testing

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What is an Upright Tilt Table Test?

An upright tilt table test is prescribed for people who have a history of recurrent syncope (passing out) or pre-syncope (almost passing out).

You will receive an intravenous (IV) line to provide access for fluids and medications prescribed by your doctor during the test. 

The test is performed using a special table called a tilt table. You will be instructed to lie down on the tilt table. Monitoring equipment will then be applied:

  • Heart monitor
  • Blood pressure cuff
  • Oxygen saturation measuring device

You will be monitored closely throughout the test. Safety straps will also be applied across your chest and legs.

To perform the test, the nurse adjusts the degree of the table tilt to an almost standing position (70 to 80 degrees). The length of time you stand is based on written protocol and how you tolerate the test. The doctor may also choose to give you an adrenalin-like medication to increase your heart rate. This medication may cause you to feel your heart pound. Once the medication is stopped, you quickly return to feeling normal. If you are feeling like you will pass out, it is important to relay these symptoms to the doctor and/or nurse.

Are there any special instructions before or after my test?

Before the test you will be asked not to eat or drink anything for a specified period of time. This is to prevent you from becoming nauseated while the test is being performed.

You may take you usual morning medications with a small sip of water early in the morning.

You may continue with your normal activities after your procedure unless otherwise instructed by your physician.

How do I get the results?

As soon as the test is completed, the doctor will be able to give you the results and make recommendations for treatment. The supervising physician will review the procedure and forward a report to the physician who ordered the test. Your physician, the one that knows you and your medical history, will advise you of the results.

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