Consultantion Appointments

Information Sheets


Tilt Table Test


What is a Tilt Table Test?

A Tilt Table Test is a safe, controlled way to bring on the symptoms of neurocardiogenic syncope or blackouts whilst recording the activity of the heart.  The Tilt Table Test is designed to induce syncope under controlled conditions and is especially useful for diagnosing vasovagal syncope or underlying heart disease such as arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms).  It is a safe procedure with very low risk of complications.


How is the Tilt Table Test done?

    • The test is performed by a doctor and a cardiac technician who will monitor your blood pressure, heart rate and rhythm throughout the procedure. 
    • You will be instructed to lay down on a special Tilt Table by the technician.  The ECG electrodes will be placed on your skin to monitor your heart rhythm and a blood pressure cuff will also be placed on you right arm to monitor your blood pressure.  Safety straps are applied across your chest and legs.
    • Initially you will lie flat on the table then the entire table is tilted so that your head is almost upright (80◦) and you will be continuously monitored in the tilted position for approximately 60 minutes.  Your blood pressure will be monitored every 3 minutes and after 45 minutes, if no fainting symptoms or syncope occurs, the doctor will administer Nitrolingual spray under your tongue.
    • This spray is administered to induce a fainting event and may give you a slight headache and/or dizziness after a few minutes.
    • If at any time during the test you feel symptoms that you have previously experienced when you fainted, it is very important to notify the technician immediately. If you experience symptoms and have considerable changes in blood pressure and heart rate, the table will be lowered to the flat position and the test will be ceased.  If you have not experienced any symptoms after 60 minutes the table will be lowered to the flat position and the test will be ceased.

How do I prepare for the test?

    • Do not eat or drink anything for approximately 4 hours prior to the test.  This will prevent nausea which may accompany this test.  If you need to take medications, you may drink small sips of water to do so.  If you are a diabetic, please consult with your doctor regarding fasting times.
    • Take all your medications as prescribed, unless instructed otherwise by your doctor.  Please bring a list of all your medications with you.
    • Wear comfortable clothing.
    • You will need to make arrangements for someone to drive you home safely after the test.

What do I need to bring to my appointment?

    • Your referral from your GP or referring specialist (if it is not already held by us). 
    • A list of your current medications and dosages
    • Any previous x-rays or test results relating to your current condition

Please ensure you present at reception 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time, to ensure sufficient time to complete any paperwork which may be required.


Confirmation of your appointment:

One of our receptionists will telephone you to confirm your appointment at least 2 days prior, however should you have not heard from us, we recommend you telephone us to confirm you will be attending.


If you are unable to attend your appointment, please telephone us at least 24 hours prior to the appointment date, so that the booking time may be filled.


Appointment Delays:

We do endeavour to keep to schedule, however as we are in a hospital environment our Doctors and/or Technicians may occasionally be called to an emergency.  Your understanding and patience will be appreciated.