If you suffer from unexplained, repeated fainting (syncope), your physician may order a tilt-table test. This test enables the physician to trigger your symptoms and determine the cause of your fainting.
There are two parts to the test:
During this test, you lie on a table that is then slowly moved from a horizontal to a head down position. As the table moves, your heart rate and blood pressure are monitored.
As the table moves, your blood pressure may drop and cause you to feel lightheaded.
A normal test result is when your average blood pressure remains stable as the table moves, and your average heart rate increases by a normal amount.
During the second part of the tilt-table test, you are given a medication that causes your heart to beat faster.
The table is then tilted upwards to a 60-degree angle. If your blood pressure drops, the table is lowered and the test is over.
If your blood pressure does not drop within 15 minutes, the table is lowered and the test is finished.
The entire test can last for 90 minutes. If only the first part is done, the test lasts about 30 minutes.