Tilt table test

23 May 2021 / 4:27 pm

What is it ?

A tilt table test is an investigation where the body is tilted gently on a couch to see if symptoms can be provoked. It is particularly helpful for patients who have recurrent blackouts or faints.


How is it performed ?

You will be asked to lie down on a bed that is then tilted to 60 degrees upright with your head up. A blood pressure cuff is placed on your arm and your heart rate monitored on an ECG via sticky pads (electrodes). Occasionally a spray of GTN (nitrate) is put under the tongue to enhance the test.

How long does it take ?

The test usually lasts 45 minutes but can be stopped earlier if the test is abnormal of if you request it.

Are there any risks ?

A tilt-table test is a provocative test which means that your doctor is trying to reproduce your symptoms. The test therefore can cause feelings of faintness, sickness and make some people pass out. Please wear light fitting clothes and have only a light breakfast on the morning of the test.

What happens next ?

Once the test if completed it will be analysed and a report generated, usually within 7 days. Please bring someone with you who can accompany you home after the test.


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