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A tilt table test helps us find the cause of your symptoms or fainting. This test starts with you lying flat on a table. You will move from flat to upright (standing) position. We will watch your heart rate and blood pressure closely during the test. The test takes two hours.

Getting Ready for a Tilt Table Test

  • Do not eat or drink anything for 4 hours before the test.

  • You can take your morning medicine with a sip of water unless your doctor or nurse told you not to.

  • Wear loose fitting, comfortable clothes.

  • Bring someone with you to drive you home.

What to Expect 

We may ask you to wear a gown. You will lie down on the table. We will then place sticky patches (electrodes) on your chest. We will put blood pressure cuffs on your fingers and your arm. We may place an IV in your arm or hand in case you need fluids or medicine. The table has safety straps that will wrap around you. The straps keep you safe when the table is being tilted upright.

The test starts with you lying flat on the table. We tilt the table upright for about thirty minutes. We will watch your blood pressure, heart rate, and symptoms closely during the test. You may need medicine to help reproduce your symptoms. If you faint at any time during the test, we will return the table to the flat position and watch you closely. You may return to your normal routine once your test is complete. 

Risks

A tilt table test is safe and problems are rare. Risks may include low blood pressure and a pause between heart beats. This will get better after you and the table are returned to the flat position.

Results

Your doctor will discuss your results and next steps with you after the test.