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Tilt-table test

Head-up tilt test

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

About

If you're experiencing unexplained bouts of dizziness, blackouts or lightheadedness, 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 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 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.
  • Afterwards 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.

Our facilities

From complex surgery to straightforward procedures, we provide exceptional care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

  • London Bridge Hospital Facility

    London Bridge Hospital

    27 Tooley Street

    London

    SE1 2PR

    Appointments and Enquiries 020 7234 2009
    Imaging Appointments 020 7234 2773
    Switchboard 020 7407 3100

  • Wellington-south-hero-facility-582-582

    The Wellington Hospital

    Wellington Place

    London NW8 9LE

    Appointments 0207 483 5148
    Enquiries 020 3131 7478

  • facility-HSC-flag-hero-582x582

    The Harley Street Clinic

    35 Weymouth Street

    London

    W1G 8BJ

    Appointments 020 7034 8181
    Enquiries 020 3131 7962

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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