Tilt Table Test (TTT)

This investigation is used to evaluate unexplained causes of fainting episodes (syncope).

Why do I need the TTT?

You may have experienced fainting episodes and your Cardiologist recommended this test to further evaluate the cause. Or, you may have experienced a vasovagal syncope and your Cardiologist may require a TTT to further confirm the diagnosis. Vasovagal syncope is a condition whereby your blood pressure and heart rate lower for a brief period of time, usually in response to stress from fear and pain. Occasionally, it can occur without any cause.

How should I prepare for this test?

  • You are advised not to eat or drink for at least 2hours before the test.
  • You can take all your medications as instructed by your Cardiologist.

What can I expect during the procedure?

  • You will be asked to lie down on the table, strapped to the table with belts to make sure you will not fall off during the procedure. Stick patches (electrodes) will be put on your chest linked to the ECG machine by cables. The Cardiac Nurse will also put a blood pressure cuff on your arm and insert an intravenous cannula (plastic needle) in your vein. Your electrocardiogram, heart rate and blood pressure will be monitored closely during the procedure.
  • You will experience the bed moving from a horizontal position slowly to a vertical position after about 5mins.
  • You will stay in this vertical position for up to 45 mins. Remain still in the vertical position and report any symptoms of irregular heart beats, light-headness, fainting spells, nausea and sweating to the cardiac team.
  • You may be given a medication through the plastic needle to provocate the vasovagal response if you do not initially experience any symptoms.
  • If you do experience syncope or near-fainting episode with lowering of blood pressure and slowing of heart rate, you will be put to the horizontal position immediately. Most people will recover almost immediately.
  • You will be discharged and you can return to your daily activities after the procedure.

Are there any risks involved in this procedure?

It is a very safe test but as with all medical procedures, it carries a risk of the following complications, which will resolve once the table is back in the horizontal position.

  • Pause between heart beats
  • Low blood pressure