A tilt-table examination is done to identify the reason for an unexplained fainting episode. It involves measuring heart rate and blood pressure in response to a change in your position to determine if you have an underlying problem with blood pressure, abnormal nervous system reaction, or arrhythmia. Dr. Maddahi offers a tilt-table examination at his cardiology practice in Los Angeles to identify possible underlying heart conditions to help you return to perfect health.
How Does It Work
A tilt-table test is used to evaluate the cause of fainting (syncope). It is done by tilting a table with the person lying on it from a horizontal to a nearly upright position. The test can help diagnose problems with the autonomic nervous system, which controls blood pressure and heart rate. The test is usually done in a doctor’s office. Once you lie down, the table is tilted upward, and your blood pressure and heart rate are monitored.
The test may be stopped if you feel faint or your blood pressure drops. The table is returned to the horizontal position, but your blood pressure and heart rate are monitored for a short time after the test. The tilt-table examination is used to diagnose problems with the autonomic nervous system, which controls blood pressure and heart rate, and can reveal the root cause of fainting. The test is completely safe.
- Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight before your examination
- Don’t take stimulants, such as tea or coffee, for at least 24 hours before the test
- Only have a light breakfast or lunch the day of the test if you’re diabetic
- Wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes during your appointment
- Don’t wear jewelry, necklaces, or clothes with metal, such as brooches, buttons, or sequins
- Bring your inhaler(s) if you have asthma, either currently or previously
- Give us an accurate list of all ongoing and previous medications
- Bring a list of all your ongoing medications
- Follow the cardiologist’s instructions regarding medication usage on the day of the test
What to Expect
During your tilt-table examination, you will have to lie down flat on a horizontal table, following which your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored for around 20 minutes. The head of the table will gradually be elevated 60 to 80 degrees for the next 20 minutes, and your heart rate and blood pressure will continue to be monitored.
You must inform the physician if you experience weakness, dizziness, nausea, lightheadedness, sweating, or palpitations. The table will be returned to a horizontal position, and your heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored for another 20 minutes. The entire tilt-table test takes around 1 or 2 hours, following which you may resume your daily activities.
A positive test result is when the person experiences a drop in blood pressure and/or heart rate at one of the angles. This occurs because the heart cannot pump enough blood to the brain in this position. A negative test result is when the person does not have a drop in blood pressure and/or heart rate at any of the angles.
Cutting-Edge Cardiac Care
The tilt-table examination is one of the many cutting-edge techniques Dr. Maddahi employs at his Los Angeles office to identify the root cause of your symptoms. If you have an unexplained fainting episode, we highly recommend undergoing a tilt-table test to determine the root cause of the problem before you experience more serious complications. Dr. Maddahi makes it his mission to get to the root of your problems and guide you to optimal health.