What is tilt table testing?
Tilt table testing is a method of simulating conditions to monitor how your blood pressure and heart rate respond. The test can take up to 90 minutes but provides useful information about how your body responds to exertion.
Why would I need tilt table testing?
ECCA offers tilt table testing to find out why you frequently feel lightheaded or pass out. During the test, you lie on a table that your physician or nurse can tilt to raise your head above your heart at varying degrees.
Your doctor monitors you throughout the test, measuring your blood pressure and heart rate to diagnose what’s causing your symptoms.
For example, if your blood pressure drops when your doctor elevates your head, it could indicate an abnormally fast or slow heart rate. When they elevate your head, your heart might not be able to pump enough blood to your brain, causing your dizziness and fainting spells.
It could also indicate a vascular health problem that’s interfering with the way your arteries help move blood through your body against gravity.
What should I expect during tilt table testing?
Tilt table testing has two parts. During the first part, your doctor tests how your body responds when they elevate your head.
The test begins with a clinical staff member strapping you on to the tilt table, inserting an IV, and attaching electrocardiogram electrodes to your chest. They also put a cuff on your arm to monitor your blood pressure.
Then, your clinician elevates your head to around 30 degrees above your body and checks your heart rate and blood pressure. Approximately five minutes later, your clinician tilts the table a little more, raising your head to around 60 degrees above your heart and repeats the tests.
For the next 45 minutes or so, the clinician monitors your heart rate and blood pressure. If your blood pressure decreases at any point, your clinician lowers the table to a flat position and stops the test.
If your blood pressure stays the same during part one, your physician provides a medication that increases the rate and force of your heart. When the medicine takes effect, you might feel like you are exercising.
Then, while your heart rate is elevated, your clinician repeats the process of raising your head and checking your heart rate and blood pressure. If your blood pressure doesn’t decrease after 15 minutes, your clinician lowers the table to end your tilt table test.
Your physician discusses your results with you and may suggest lifestyle or medication changes to regulate your heart rate and blood pressure to eliminate your fainting spells.
Call ECCA today or make an appointment online to learn more about tilt table testing and if it can help you.