A tilt table is done if you have recurrent fainting spells. This test is done to determine how your body responds to changes in position. During the test, you lie on the table that can be inverted at different angles while your blood pressure, heart rate and symptoms can be monitored. The tilt table test is done to induce (bring on) fainting spells under a controlled environment. The upright position during the tilt table test causes blood to collect in the lower part of the body. Normally, the nerves that control function of the heart and blood vessels are able to maintain the blood pressure by increasing the heart rate and by tightening the blood vessels. In people that are susceptible to vasovagal syncope (fainting) these nerves do not respond properly. As a result, the patient’s heart rate slows, the blood pressure drops and the person loses consciousness. Once the person is lying flat, the blood flow continues to equal out and the person regains consciousness.
You will be instructed to lie on the table. IV is inserted and electrodes are placed on the chest to monitor your heart rhythm during the procedure. The table is inverted to different angles throughout the test to induce vasovagal syncope.
It may be a good idea to rest afterward and have someone drive you home. To receive test results, the provider may review your results or ask you to come in for an appointment.