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Tilt Table Test - Background, Procedure, and Indications

Published on Oct 06, 2022   -  3 min read

Abstract

The tilt table test is done in order to evaluate blood pressure or arrhythmia as well as the heart rate. This article is a brief overview of the tilt table test.

Contents

Introduction

The tilt table test is also referred to as a passive head-up tilt test and head upright tilt test. A tilt table test generally records the blood pressure and any kind of rhythm abnormalities of the heart. The heart rate is also evaluated on the basis of each beat. All three factors can be assessed in several different positions of the heart. Patients suffering from unknown causes of fainting and light-headedness as well as syncope may be suggested to go for a tilt table test in order to frame a proper treatment modality as well as a management strategy.

In addition to the tilt table test, several other diagnostic tests and assessments may be suggested to get a more clear idea of the underlying condition. Syncope, a regularly manifested clinical symptom of several causes, one of them being unknown, refers to the loss of consciousness that is for a short term, due to the absence or sudden decrease in the blood being flown to the brain. These alterations in the blood flow may be due to abnormal blood pressure or underlying cardiovascular or neurological conditions.

How Long Does a Tilt Table Test Take To Be Completed?

The tilt table test generally takes around ninety minutes to be successfully completed. The healthcare provider should be informed prior to the scheduling of a tilt table test in case the patient is undergoing treatment for diabetes, water retention, allergies, a list of all the drugs the patient is currently on, or if the patient simply does not feel up to the mark.

Can Food or Drinks Be Taken Before a Tilt Table Test?

A regular diet can be followed the evening before the commencement of the tilt table test. It is generally suggested to avoid eating or drinking approximately four hours before the test is scheduled. Resuming a normal diet after the test is allowed and encouraged. During the test, the patient is supposed to wear loose-fitting or comfortable clothing.

What Happens During a Tilt Table Test?

Generally, the tilt table test is conducted in specific labs at the hospital setup called a cardiology laboratory. The healthcare provider is supposed to explain the entire test in great detail so that there is no doubt remaining in the patient’s mind. It is also advised to inform the healthcare provider in case the patient is not able to withstand their weight of more than or equal to one hundred and forty-seven kilograms without any support or help.

Mentioned below is the sequence of activities conducted during a tilt table test.

Conclusion

Symptoms such as unexplained episodes of fainting, unexplained lightheadedness, and frequent episodes of syncope are the reasons why a healthcare provider may suggest a tilt table test. Blood pressure, heart rate, and heart rhythm are a few of the features of the cardiovascular system that are evaluated throughout the test. In case the patient faints or goes into a blackout, the result of the tilt table test is positive. On the other hand, in case there are only slight alterations in blood pressure with no other significant deviation in the cardiovascular reading, the result of the test is negative. Depending on the severity of the signs and symptoms as well as the result of the test, the healthcare provider will explain the treatment plan after the correct diagnosis of the condition.

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Last reviewed at:
06 Oct 2022  -  3 min read

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