Tilt-table test

Head-up tilt test

A diagnostic test to see if fainting(syncope), dizzy spells or light-headedness are related to a drop in blood pressure and/or a slowing of the heart rate

What is a tilt-table test?

If you're experiencing unexplained bouts of dizziness, blackouts or light-headedness, your GP or consultant might recommend a tilt-table test.

This outpatient test is designed to recreate your symptoms in a safe environment while monitoring your heart rhythm and blood pressure.

Need to know

  • What happens during a tilt-table test?  icon plus

    During the test, you'll lie flat on a specially designed bed that is able to tilt upright. Sensors to monitor your heart rhythm will be attached to your chest using small sticky pads. You'll also have a blood pressure monitor attached to your arm.

    You'll be secured to the bed with straps similar to seat belts, and the bed will slowly be tilted, head up, to a 60-degree angle. Your physiologist will monitor your heart rate and blood pressure and note any changes if you begin to feel dizzy or faint. You may also be given a dose of medication to help recreate your symptoms. You'll be monitored for up to 45 minutes.
  • How to prepare for the test  icon plus

    Your consultant physiologist will explain the tilt-table test to you and answer any questions you may have. You should eat a light meal no more than four hours before the test, but please avoid caffeine for at least 24 hours. Like all procedures, there may be some risks or side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After your test  icon plus

    You'll be able to go home shortly after the test, as soon as you feel well and any symptoms of dizziness have gone. Your consultant physiologist will discuss your results with you and let you know about any next steps, including further tests or treatment options.

Tilt-table test cardiologists

Our cardiologists use a range of diagnosis tests to help determine your diagnosis.

For a tilt test you will need to attend the cardiac outpatient department and the cardiac team will take you through the test and your consultant will explain the results of the test. 

Our locations

We provide diagnostic cardiac testing across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request a cardiac appointment

We're happy to help you make an appointment with one of our experienced cardiologists. You can contact us by telephone or email.


020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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