Tilt Table Test

A tilt table test is used to monitor your blood pressure and heart rate.

It is recommended to help evaluate the cause of unexplained falls, blackouts and dizzy spells.

The Procedure

Tilt Table Test

This procedure takes approximately 60 minutes to complete. You will be lying on a bed which will be tilted upright during the test and safety belts will be placed around your body so you don't slip.

Throughout the procedure, there will be a nurse and a technician in the room. However to get an accurate result, it is important that you are not disturbed, so once the test starts they will only speak to you to check how you are feeling. If you are feeling unwell, the test will be stopped until you feel better.

What happens during a tilt table test?

An IV cannula (tube) is set up to administer any medication required. You will be attached to a machine which will monitor your blood pressure and heart rate throughout the test.

You begin by lying flat on the 'tilt table' and safety belts will be secured around you.

After 10 minutes, you are tilted upright and then back at a slight angle. You will stay in this position for 20 minutes, during which time you will be asked to stay still.

If after 20 minutes there is no change to your blood pressure or heart rate, we may give you medication called Isoprenaline through the IV line. This is used to improve the sensitivity of the test. The table is raised again and you will be monitored for another 20 minutes.

If you faint at any time during the test while you are in the upright position, the table is returned to a horizontal position immediately and you're monitored closely until your recover. Most people regain consciousness almost immediately.

Following the Procedure

  • You may return to your normal activities for the remainder of the day
  • Your results will be review by a consultant cardiologist who will assess whether you fainted during the procedure and what happened to your blood pressure and heart rate
  • Depending on the results, your consultant may recommend additional tests to exclude other causes of fainting.