Tilt-Table Test


What Is Tilt-Table Testing?

If you often feel faint or light-headed and your doctor cannot find an explanation, you may be a good candidate for a tilt-table test. This test checks your cardiovascular autonomic reflexes (which control your heart rate and blood pressure) and can help your doctor determine how best to treat you.

This test helps your doctor check your heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure while you move into different physical positions. Our testing table moves you from a lying-down (horizontal) to almost-standing (vertical) position.

These movement changes may cause you to faint. The table has footrests and safety belts to keep you safe.

World-Class Care

Tilt-Table Testing at Aurora

Our vascular and cardiac electrophysiology specialists are among the most experienced diagnosticians in Wisconsin. We offer:

  • An advanced electrophysiology lab: Your tilt-table test can be performed in any of our labs in the Aurora Health Care System. We use the latest high-tech diagnostic equipment in our testing lab.
  • A minimally invasive testing philosophy: We try to avoid invasive (surgical) interventions for fainting (syncope). The tilt-table test is an external-body test (noninvasive) with very few side effects.
  • Caring diagnostic professionals: Our experienced technicians and nurses work closely with your doctor to perform your tilt-table test. They check your comfort level and explain testing procedures throughout the process.

What to Expect

What Happens During a Tilt-Table Test?

A tilt-table test allows your Aurora vascular team to check your heart’s electrical activity and blood pressure while we move you into different physical positions. Our special testing table moves you from a lying-down (horizontal) to almost-standing (vertical) position.

This movement recreates conditions that may cause you to faint. The table has a footrest and safety belts for your safety.

During the Test

The tilt-table test itself takes about 90 minutes, but you may need to be at the hospital for up to three hours total. During the test, we will:

  1. Attach electrodes to your chest, legs and arms: Wires connect the electrodes to an electrocardiogram (EKG) monitor, which records your heart’s electrical activity.
  2. Monitor your blood pressure.
  3. Insert an intravenous (IV) line into your arm: The IV allows us to take blood samples and/or give you fluid and medication.
  4. Secure belts over your knees and chest: The belts ensure that you will not fall as we move you up and down. The test is very safe.
  5. Have you tell us if you feel fainting symptoms: If your symptoms get worse, we can flatten the table to make you feel better.
  6. Possibly give you IV medication: If you do not feel fainting symptoms, this medicine makes your heart beat harder and faster and may bring on symptoms. The effects wear off quickly.

After the Test

Your doctor may be able to discuss your test results with you immediately afterward or soon after.

Preparing for Your Test

How to Get Ready for Your Tilt-Table Test

Your tilt-table test will take place at one of our conveniently located labs. Allow up to three hours in total for the testing process.

Other things to know:

  • Follow your doctor’s orders about when to stop eating or drinking before the test.
  • You can wear jewelry and dentures during this test.

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