Tilt table test

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This interactive video explains what you can expect during the tilt table test. By eMedTV
Source:www.medicalook.com

A tilt table test is used to help diagnose forms of dysautonomia such as postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) or neurally mediated hypotension (NMH). Symptoms caused by dysautonomia include dizziness, lightheadedness, or fainting (syncope). Vital signs, especially heart rate and blood pressure are monitored as the table slowly raises the patient from lying to nearly standing position. The patient is strapped to the table in case the patient faints in the upright position. Other conditions that can be diagnosed with a tilt table test is cardiac arrhythmia.[1]

Recommended test for ME/CFS[edit | edit source]

The Institute of Medicine Report recommends a tilt table test for diagnosing orthostatic intolerance in ME/CFS.[2]

Beyond Myalgic Encephalomylitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome: Redefining an Illness (2015) pgs. 111-119 covers Tilt Table Test: "Assessment of Orthostatic Intolerance and Autonomic Dysfunction in ME/CFS"[3]

Risks[edit | edit source]

A tilt table test is generally safe, and complications are rare. But, as with any medical procedure, it does carry some risk.

Potential complications include:

  • Nausea and vomiting after fainting
  • Weakness that can last several hours
  • Prolonged low blood pressure (hypotension) after the test

These complications usually go away when the table is returned to a horizontal position.[4]

Research studies[edit | edit source]

  • 2018, The Abnormal Cardiac Index and Stroke Volume Index Changes During a Normal Tilt Table Test in ME/CFS Patients Compared to Healthy Volunteers, are Not Related to Deconditioning[5] - (Full text)
  • 2020, Cerebral blood flow is reduced in ME/CFS during head-up tilt testing even in the absence of hypotension or tachycardia: A quantitative, controlled study using Doppler echography - (Full text)
  • 2020, Cerebral Blood Flow Is Reduced in Severe Myalgic Encephalomyelitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Patients During Mild Orthostatic Stress Testing: An Exploratory Study at 20 Degrees of Head-Up Tilt Testing[6] - (Full text)

See also[edit | edit source]

Learn more[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) - A form of orthostatic intolerance where the cardinal symptom is excessive tachycardia due to changing position (e.g. from lying down to sitting up).

dysautonomia disorders of the autonomic nervous system that cause disturbances in all or some autonomic functions, may cause problems regulating autonomic functions, including heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, and digestion. Can cause symptoms including lightheadedness, fainting, unstable blood pressure, and orthostatic intolerance.

tilt table test A diagnostic test to determine orthostatic intolerance or other forms of dysautonomia. The patient is strapped to a table and the table is tilted while the patient is monitored.

cerebral blood flow (CBF) - the amount of blood that goes through the arterial tree in the brain in a given amount of time

tachycardia An unusually rapid heart beat. Can be caused by exercise or illness. A symptom of postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). (Learn more: www.heart.org)

myalgic encephalomyelitis (M.E.) - A disease often marked by neurological symptoms, but fatigue is sometimes a symptom as well. Some diagnostic criteria distinguish it from chronic fatigue syndrome, while other diagnostic criteria consider it to be a synonym for chronic fatigue syndrome. A defining characteristic of ME is post-exertional malaise (PEM), or post-exertional neuroimmune exhaustion (PENE), which is a notable exacerbation of symptoms brought on by small exertions. PEM can last for days or weeks. Symptoms can include cognitive impairments, muscle pain (myalgia), trouble remaining upright (orthostatic intolerance), sleep abnormalities, and gastro-intestinal impairments, among others. An estimated 25% of those suffering from ME are housebound or bedbound. The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies ME as a neurological disease.

The information provided at this site is not intended to diagnose or treat any illness.
From MEpedia, a crowd-sourced encyclopedia of ME and CFS science and history.