I had a tilt test done earlier this year. It is done in very controlled conditions. There is a doctor nearby and with mine there was a nurse and technician in the same room with me talking to me and only a few feet of way the entire time. You are on constant monitoring. Besides that, I was in a hospital. So right away you know you are in a good environment with lots of attention. They do put in an IV so they can give you meds if needed and so they can instill some if that is part of the testing.
For me it was a very straight forward test. They had me lay on a table and hooked up the monitors. Then they gave me instructions that I was not to wiggle my leg muscles or flex them and I was to lay perfectly still. You can talk though and they periodically ask you how you are feeling and to describe snesations. They basically for me tilted the table up with me strapped on it and started taking notes.
Standing upright probably sounds easy enough but you do have altered sensations then others if you are one who's blood pools and your body doesn't ship it back up to your head again. Depending on what goes on physiologically with you there will be different responses in differing amounts of time. For me they took copious notes, many tracings, and went out of the room twice to discuss things with the doctor (0ne person did this and I was never left alone).
For me personally my legs begin to feel heavy and kind of burned. For me that was one of the main negative senseations. Then when my blood pressure starrted to drop I first started to have my vision change which I verbalized to them and then my hearing started to go (I was about to pass out which for those of us who get postural hypotension is not such a foreign feeling) and they quickly brought the table back up to a horizontal position and had me rest a bit before sitting up.
I do know some people get an infusion of a med to test further if they don't have a drop in BP during the test. At more sophisticated centers they would also test some of your
hormonal levels. This was not done for me. It would be done that way tho at an autonomic testing center.
On my test my BP started out at 123/80 and went down to 65/42. I think the techs are always amazed one can still be conscious at those numbers but for some reason those of us with autonomic dysfunction often are at very low numbers. I was describing in detail as I almost fainted. Many people pass out for a short minute. My BP quickly recovered as soon as they put me in a horizontal position. I never completely passed out. The test itself can take an hour. Sometimes it is over quite soon.
I actually had lunch soon after and had quite an ordinary day. I recovered quite quickly.
I thought the hardest part was the heaviness I felt in my legs. Having had a lot of light headedness before the test that part was totally familiar.
Good luck with all. Let us know how it goes! Marie
There are certain medicines that you should not take the morning of the test also. I can't quite recall the list right now but mostly blood pressure meds and such. You might want to ask your doc about what you can and can't take the morning of the test.
Also as Marie said they sometimes give you an infusion or a pill to speed up your heart rate. I had a completely horrible expirence with that. Because of the isopropenol they used on me, I was recovering for 3 days from the test. Some of the people with POTS have an exagerated response to these meds. Why are they doing the test? If they suspect you have POTS you might want to avoid the additional medicine to speed up your heart rate.
Thanks for sharing your experience with me!
To answer your question, we are doing the tilt test (mostly at my suggestion) b/c I have had unexplained tachycardia (low 100s bpm) for going on 5 weeks. I have lightheadedness and shortness of breath that is worse when standing.
We did some testing of my BP and HR and found that my HR is highest when I'm standing (and, of course, my BP is lowest when standing). So both myself and the doctors think POTS is a possibility.
I don't take any meds except for Xanax right now so I will not take that tomorrow morning.
Thanks again. If anyone else has suggestions or thoughts, please feel free to share!
Welcome to the forum! I'm sure you'll get lots of great advice here--we certainly have. There is a wealth of knowledge on this board.
I am intersted that you are in Baltimore--we are nearby there, and I am wondering how you got someone to do the TTT here. My son is having one next month as part of a study he's participating in but we have to go all the way to New York for it! We've been to two cardiologists and one neurologist and none of them felt a TTT was "necessary."
I hope it all goes well tomorrow! Be sure to check back afterwards!
Thanks for the well wishes.
To answer your question, I had been to 2 cardiologists (regular and EP). After 5 weeks of tachycardia and no answers, I asked the EP Cardiologist if we could do a tilt table test and he said he agreed that we should. I've been having light-headedness that has prevented me from working for over 4 weeks. The EP Cardiologist is at Johns Hopkins. I'm not sure if the one I will have will be as sophisticated as the one your son will have as part of his study though.
Good luck to you as well and I'll check back in the forum after my TTT.
After a lifelong battle with fainting, and too many doctors to count telling me fainting was ok, a doctor recommended a TTT to find out the cause. I was dx with Neurocardiogenic Syncope and Orthostatic Intolerance, but I started questioning that diagnosis and treatment after a year I saw no improvement and my symptoms and cardiac system worsening.
I went in to have the TTT earlier in the day before I had an ablation, so I stayed in the hospital. This is what happened and why I question the results:
BP 126/79 HR 77 - Start
BP 129/87 HR 101 - 20 min
BP 137/71 HR 109 Nitroglycerin given
By minute #4, I had a syncopal event with no palpable pulse
BP 97/48 HR 78 - supine state
The reason I question the dx is because you can see my bp stayed the same until I had the nitro spray and the dr's have no explanation of why my heart would stop and my bp tank. Maybe I don't understand it all, but my HR went up not down during the test and everything I've read with ncs/oi hr/bp go down, so I'm confused about my dx =)
I don't remember much after the nitro was given, it was pretty much lights out with no warning - just waking up laying flat with a doctor holding my knees up :P telling me I had to be in a wheelchair the rest of my hospital stay.
Just thinking about that test scares me... Its almost torture, they make you faint then help afterwards, its one of the only tests to get a diagnosis for forms of dysautonomia sadly though. I remember right before they were going to give me meds to increase my heart rate I fainted, it's pretty scary thinking when it will happen but they will be there to help for sure.
But hey even after you get a diagnosis, remember that a diagnosis means nothing its the actions that do. I was diagnosed with neurocardiogenic syncope a year back but I'm pretty sure I have POTS also...either way I still haven't found the right treatment.
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