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What is a tilt table test?

A tilt table test is a minor procedure used to diagnose the cause of fainting, near fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness. It involves lying flat on a table that slowly tilts at near an upright position. A nurse or technician monitors your heart rate, heart rhythm, and blood pressure during the test to see if they change with your position. You may receive medicine through an IV as part of your tilt table test. Your doctor will discuss the results with you after the tilt table test is complete.

A tilt table test is a minor procedure, but it still involves some risk. It is only one method used to diagnose the cause of fainting, near fainting, dizziness, and lightheadedness. Discuss all of your options with your doctor to understand which options are right for you.  

Medical Reviewers: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Review Date: Nov 7, 2013

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Medical References

  1. Barón-Esquivias G, Martínez-Rubio A. Tilt table test: state of the art. Indian Pacing Electrophysiol J. 2003 Oct 1;3(4):239-52. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1513525/.
  2. Guide to Tilt Table Testing. Cornell University. http://www.cornellcardiology.com/pat_vis/til_tab.html?name1=Patient+Guides+to+Cardiology+Procedures&....
  3. Tilt-Table Test. American Heart Association. http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/HeartAttack/SymptomsDiagnosisofHeartAttack/Tilt-Table-Test_....
  4. Tilt Table Procedure. Johns-Hopkins. http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/healthlibrary/test_procedures/cardiovascular/tilt_table_procedure_92,....
  5. Tilt Table Test. The Ohio State University. http://medicalcenter.osu.edu/heart/conditions/Pages/Tests/TiltTableTest.aspx.
  6. Tilt Table Testing. Stanford University. http://stanfordhospital.org/cardiovascularhealth/arrhythmia/overview/diagnosing/tilt-table.html.

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