Medical Definition of Test, tilt-table

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Reviewed on 9/7/2018

Test, tilt-table: Tilt-table testing involves placing the patient on a table with a foot-support. The table is tilted upward and the blood pressure and pulse are measured and symptoms are recorded with the patient in diverse positions.

The tilt-table test is designed to detect postural hypotension (orthostatic hypotension), a condition that results from changing body position from a prone, supine or sitting position to a more vertical position. Poor tone of the nerves of the legs can cause a disproportionate distribution of blood to the legs, instead of to the brain, so a person feels lightheaded and may even faint.

Tilt-table testing may be done when heart disease is not suspected of being responsible for an attack of syncope (fainting) or near-syncope. Depending on the presence or absence of symptoms during the tilt-table test, persons with certain forms of temporary loss of consciousness may be admitted to the hospital for observation and further testing.

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Reviewed on 9/7/2018