Tilt Table Testing

About the Test

Tilt table testing is used to evaluate the cause of unexplained fainting (syncope). During a tilt table test, you lay on a table that moves you from a horizontal to a vertical position. Your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored throughout the tilt table test.

How the test is performed

  • You will be hooked to an EKG machine and a blood pressure monitor. Your heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP) are constantly monitored during the procedure. An intravenous (IV) line is also placed in your arm.
  • You will lay on a swivel table in a flat position. Safety straps are applied across your chest and legs to hold you in place.
  • After obtaining a baseline heart rate and blood pressure, the motorized table is tilted up to an angle of 80 degrees. This simulates going from a flat (supine) to a standing or upright position. The change in position causes your HR and BP to rise and your responses are noted. Depending upon the physician and the protocol of a given laboratory, the duration of time spent in the supine and upright position can vary from 5 to 30 minutes.


How to prepare for the Tilt test

Check with your provider to see if you need to stop taking any of your medications. You should not eat or drink after midnight to reduce the risk of nausea and vomiting during the test. Try to wear a blouse or shirt to expedite preparation for the test.