Tilt table test

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This interactive video explains what you can expect during the tilt table test. By eMedTV

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]