If you have been experiencing repeated, unexplained bouts of dizziness, lightheadedness or even fainting, your healthcare provider may recommend a Tilt Table Test. The Electrophysiologists of HVMG Heart & Vascular Center perform these tests in the Cardiac Cath Lab at Heritage Valley Beaver to determine if the cause is related to heart rate or blood pressure.
A Tilt Table Test attempts to determine the cause of dizziness or syncope (fainting) by creating changes in posture from lying to standing. Patients lie flat on a special bed or table, equipped with safety belts and a footrest, while connected to Electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure monitors. The bed or table is then elevated to an almost upright position, to simulate standing up from a lying position, and the patient’s blood pressure and ECG are monitored to evaluate changes. (If the patient faints, the table is quickly returned to a flat position so the patient regains consciousness.) The information collected is then used to help your healthcare provider prescribe treatment.
Some causes of syncope, or fainting, may include:
- Vasovagal Syndrome or Neurocardiogenic Syncope: This is a sudden drop in blood pressure, with or without a decrease in heart rate, which is caused by an exaggerated response of the nerves that control the heart and blood vessels.
- Arrhythmia: This occurs when a heart rate is too slow, too fast or is irregular. When this happens, the heart does not get enough blood flow to the body.
- Structural Heart Disease: This includes problems of the heart muscle or valves. Enlargement of the heart muscle, or malfunction of one or more of the heart valves, may block blood flow within the heart.
- Heart Attack or Myocardial Infarction (MI): This is damage to the heart muscle due to insufficient blood supply.
- Cardiomyopathy Ventricular Dysfunction: This is a weakness or failure of the pumping function of the ventricles, which are the heart’s major pumping chambers.
If you believe that you would benefit from a Tilt Table Test, please speak to your physician today.