The tilt table test checks to see how a change in position – from lying to standing – affects heart rate and blood pressure. Your doctor uses the test to try and reproduce your symptoms of syncope (fainting). There are many causes for syncope. One possible cause is a sudden slowing of the heart combined with a drop in blood pressure; this reduces the amount of blood flowing to the brain and fainting can result.
During the test, the table is tilted at a 60 to 80 degree angle to see if syncope occurs. The technician checks your blood pressure during the test to see if falling blood pressure causes syncope. The technician also does an electrocardiogram (ECG or EKG) during the test to see if an electrical problem is causing the syncope.