Heart Center

Tilt Table

A tilt test may be helpful for patients who have recurrent or unexplained fainting spells (syncope). During the test, the patient lies on a table that moves from a horizontal to vertical position. Straps are placed around the patient's body for protection in the case of a reoccurrence of the fainting. The patient's blood pressure is monitored for changes in the cardiovascular response, such as fainting or a lightheaded feeling. Sometimes if there is no response from the position change, the doctor may order medication that causes the heart to beat faster and stronger. This medication makes patients feel as if they are exercising, which may make the fainting symptoms appear. This procedure takes about one hour.