The tilt table is a special bed with a footboard and a motor that can be controlled to tilt at different angles. You will lie down on the tilt table, flat on your back. You will be tilted so that your head is always above your feet. You will never be tilted upside down. The nurse will start an intravenous (IV) line in your arm to give you fluids and medicines during the test. You will be connected to monitors to check you heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and oxygen levels during the test. Three or more safety straps will be placed across your chest and legs to hold you in place on the table.
You will be awake but you will be asked to lie quietly and keep your legs still. During the test, you may have no symptoms or you may feel very uncomfortable. You may feel lightheaded, sick to your stomach, dizzy, heart palpitations or fluttering in the chest, vision changes or you may faint. Be sure you tell the nurse or doctor about any symptoms you have during the test as they occur.
If you become very uncomfortable and cannot go on, the test will be stopped. If you should faint, the table will be returned to the flat position and the test stopped.
- Part 1
The test starts with a quiet period. Then the table will be slowly tilted to an almost standing position. Your head will be up and the footboard will support you. You will be checked at several positions and then returned to a flat position.
- Part 2
The second part of the test begins after giving you a medicine to stress your heart. Nitroglycerine or Isuprel are often used to cause the same affect as adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone produced by the body when you exercise or when you are angry or feel stress. The medicine is given slowly into the IV and increased based on how your heart responds to the medicine. This medicine may make you feel nervous, jittery or you may feel that your heart is beating faster or stronger. These symptoms will stop quickly as the medicine wears off.