What is a tilt table test?

The tilt table test (also called a passive head-up tilt test or head upright tilt test) records your blood pressure, heart rhythm and heart rate on a beat-by-beat basis as the table is tilted to different angles. The table always stays head-up.

Why do I need this test?

The test shows how different positions affect your heart rate, heart rhythm and blood pressure.

Your doctor uses this information to determine the cause of symptoms like light-headedness and fainting spells (syncope) and develop the best treatment plan for you.

Your doctor may order more tests to get a better understanding of your condition.

What is syncope?

Syncope (pronounced “sin ko pea”) commonly called passing out or fainting. It is a brief loss of consciousness and posture caused by a temporary decrease in blood flow to your brain. This decrease can happen because of a sudden drop in your blood pressure or heart rate or changes in the amount or movement of blood in your body. You may be confused for a bit after you become conscious again.

Syncope is often related to another medical condition that may involve your heart, nervous system or blood flow to the brain.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 01/31/2019.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy