Tilt Table Study

Dr. Keith Wyche has been doing tilt Table Studies since 2002 when he joined Waccamaw Cardiology.

What is a tilt table study?

A tilt table study is done for diagnostic and drug therapy evaluations. A tilt table study is performed with the use of a special table called a "Tilt Table" under controlled conditions.

Why tilt table studies are done.

Tilt table studies are done in an attempt to induce the symptomatic fainting (syncopal) episode and/or heart rhytm changes (arrhythmia) under controlled conditions for the purpose of diagnosis and therapy evaluations.

General Information

You may be an inpatient, have the study and then return to your room. Or you may be an outpatient, come to the hospital for the study and return home after the study. Tilt table studies are generally done in the Cardiac Cath Lab (CCL). They are performed by a physician and a registered nurse.

Patient Preparation

Prior to the study

  • Discontinue medication as ordered by physician 48 hours before test.
  • Nothing to eat or drink 6-8 hours before the test.

Pre-tilt table study

  • Your signature will be required on a consent form. An RN will complete an assessment of your condition, including blood pressure, pulse, respirations and temperature (vital signs).
  • A cardiac monitor will be applied to monitor your heart rate and rhythm during the procedure.
  • An IV may be started by the RN to administer medication if ordered by the physician.
  • An automatic blood pressure cuff will be applied to your arm to monitor your blood pressure frequently during the procedure.
  • The RN or lab personnel may draw blood if ordered by your doctor.
  • An oximetry sensor may be used to measure the oxygen concentration in your blood during the procedure.

Steps in the study itself

  • You will be secured to a tilt table lying on your back with straps across your chest and below your knees to ensure your safety during the procedure.
  • A cardiac monitor will be applied.
  • Intravenous (IV) medication may be started if ordered by the physician.
  • The automatic blood pressure cuff will take your blood pressure frequently.
  • The tilt table will gradually be moved from the flat position to an upright position.
  • Your vital signs will be taken frequently as well as your heart rate and rhythm. You will be asked how you're feeling. Be sure to let your nurse or doctor know of any changes you are experiencing.
  • You may be given Isuprel intravenously during the study. Isuprel will make your hear beat stronger.

Post tilt table study care

  • Vital signs and a brief assessment of your condition are done every 15 minutes by the RN.
  • The cardiac monitor and blood pressure cuff will stay on during this period of time.
  • You will remain on the table until you are able to make a position change.
  • You will be watched closely for fainting (syncopal) episode, loss of consciousness or any rhythm changes.
  • If you are an outpatient, your physician will give written permission for you to be discharged.
  • If you are an inpatient, you will be returned to your regular unit when your physician has given written permission for you to do so.

Complications

Untoward effects are rare, but as with any prcedure there are risks. Some include: dizziness, low blood pressure, headache, flushed skin, palpitations, nausea, increase or decrease in heart rate, change in level of consciousness and change in heart rhythm.

Conclusion

Your doctor may recommend additional treatment or medication depending on your diagnosis and outcome of your tilt table study.

©Conway Medical Center, 300 Singleton Ridge Rd., Conway, SC

Learn more about Arrhythmia.