A Tilt table test is a simple procedure where a patient is made to stand on a table that is initially flat and then tilted to a level of 45°. Did you know the difference between different types of syncope, giddiness, or just a loss of consciousness by monitoring the patient’s behavior in different positions? Some patients lose consciousness for a few seconds, or some have giddiness in other parts.

This test help to identify the reason behind these different types of unconsciousness. Sometimes it can caused by neurogenic episodes, or sometimes occured due to heart itself. In this test, the patient’s blood pressure and heart rate are constantly monitored, even during the flood and tilt. The doctor will examine how the heart behaves. They may also give some medication to analyze heart behavior. All of these help doctors determine the reason behind the fainting of patients.

When does a person need this test?

Following are symptoms on which doctor may recommend tilt table testing:

  • Frequently fainting
  • Lightheadedness
  • Mind fog
  • Giddiness 
  • Other medical conditions 

 

Procedure 

A tilt test can be performed by using many methods. It can be performed both at an outpatient and on a patient admitted to the hospital. The procedure for this test should be based on the patient’s condition. It also can differ according to the expertise of the performer. During the test, the patient is asked to remove jewels such as rings, earrings, necklaces, etc. Then the patient is told to vacant his bladder. After this, he is dressed up medically.

He is strapped to a tilt table, lying flat. These straps save the patient from falling from the tilted table. Sometimes the patient may be given a drug. It may be an isoproterenol or glyceryl tri nitrate. It helps in further susceptibility. An IV line is started on the patient’s hand to inject an IV fluid. Other medicines may also be given in this way if required.

In all cases, the patient is told not to move. The patient is suspended at an angle of 60 to 80 degrees for 20 to 45 minutes. The patient’s blood pressure, pulse, oxygen saturation, and electrocardiogram are recorded during this duration. The patient is kept in the upright tilted position to get enough information related to dizziness, low blood pressure, or fainting. Medicine may not be given if there are no symptoms.

If the treatment is given, the patient should be kept again in a tilted position, and B.P, heart rate, and electrocardiogram are re-recorded. The test ends when the person faints or other significant symptoms are seen. After the test, you will get the results after a couple of hours. A doctor will monitor your health and conclude the mark on the spot.

How to prepare for the test? 

Almost all tests are necessary for patients to be performed and for the results to be reliable. Some knowledge is required about the Tilt Table test. So your level of confidence will increase as you gain more knowledge about the test. 

It is necessary to discuss your medical history and exercise regimen with your doctor so that they can determine the ideal level of exercise for you at the time of the test. Inform the doctor about any medication you’re using, and make sure to inform if you’re pregnant or not. 

Before arriving at the hospital for this test, the patient is given the following instructions: 

  • Before the test, you might need to maintain a fast because eating can change the outcome. 
  • Caffeine consumption—including tea, soda, coffee, chocolate, and other energy drinks—should be avoided at least one day before the test. The hate beat rate may be impacted by caffeine. 
  • At least one day before the test, refrain from using any sedatives or painkillers. 
  • Bring up any medications you are using, show up to your doctor and take guidance how they can impact you.
  • If you take an inhaler or have breathing problems, bring it along because you could need it while working out.
  • In addition, be sure to bring a companion to the hospital because you might not be able to drive yourself home following the treatment. Additionally, being supported by loved ones during trying times aids in maintaining composure. 
  • Avoid wearing jewelry or other uncomfortable accessories, and try to arrive at the hospital in comfortable clothing.

 

Preventive measures after the test

Since this test is not surgical, you won’t require as much care after it unless your doctor advises. Otherwise, you should be able to continue your regular diet and activities. Immediately after the test, you may feel dizziness, so you may need someone to drive you home.  

If you experience any symptoms or signs you didn’t have before the test, let your doctor know immediately. Maintain communication with your doctor regarding your health. Depending on your circumstances, your provider could offer you additional advice after the exam.  

Ask your doctor questions about the test to know what dos and don’ts are. If your test is positive, you might need more testing and medication, but if it is negative, you might not need further testing. 

 

Risk factors

This one is safer than other tests that need more care and incision. Few disorders can develop during or after the test. But most of the time, symptoms including lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, and fainting go away on their own. If the patient has any other medical conditions, they may cause other symptoms or the patient’s blood pressure to fluctuate during the treatment. You should require additional tests and medication alterations in this situation. Since this test is a diagnostic one, no harmful risk factors exist. Feel free to let your doctor know if you notice a change in your health after a test, such as high or low blood pressure. 

 

References

  • https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/tilt-table-testing?amp=true
  • https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/tilt-table-test/about/pac-20395124
  • https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diagnostics/17043-tilt-table-test
  • https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/heart-attack/diagnosing-a-heart-attack/tilt-table-test