The tilt table is a diagnostic test to evaluate syncope (fainting). Many syncopal episodes are due to a syndrome called transient autonomic dysfunction or neuro-cardiogenic syncope. Neuro-cardiogenic syncope causes a sudden drop in blood pressure and a slow heart rate when body position changes suddenly. In some instances these heart rate and blood pressure changes cause fainting or syncope.

This procedure attempts to cause syncope by creating changes in posture from lying to standing. The patient lies flat on a special bed or table while connected to electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure monitors.

The bed or table is then elevated to an almost standing position to simulate the patient actually standing up from a lying position. The blood pressure and ECG are measured during the test to evaluate changes during the position changes. If the test causes an episode of syncope, then the physician can prescribe specific treatments for the syncope once the cause is known.

How to receive the tilt table test at Inova

A cardiologist will evaluate if it is necessary and will order it for you.

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