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Tilt Table Test

The tilt table test is a simple, non-invasive method of evaluating people who have syncope, or loss of consciousness. There is a syndrome which is characterized by transient loss of consciousness, often preceded by nausea, lightheadedness or diaphoresis which has several names: vasodepressor syndrome, neurally mediated syncope or neurocardiogenic syncope. It is characterized by either marked bradycardia, a slowing of the heart, or hypotension, a fallen blood pressure or both. During a tilt table test, an intravenous needle is inserted prior to beginning. The patient lays on a table which is tilted up to around 70 degrees. The patient is then allowed to stand there for 30 to 45 minutes while the blood pressure and pulse are carefully monitored. In people who are prone to the syndrome, this will often precipitate syncope. In some instances, medications may be given to increase the sensitivity of the test. Treatment for neurally medicated syncope may include medications or in extreme cases, a pacemaker may be useful. Overall a tilt table test is a very safe procedure which helps in determining the etiology of syncope and guide in it's management.