Vaso-Vagal Discussion

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Re: tilt table test

From: Becca


Hi Linsey,

I thought I would reply to your message about the tilt test. What happens is you are strapped to a table which is placed at a 70 degree angle. You are monitored on an ecg and also for blood pressure. The test is considered positive if your blood pressure drops or your heart rate slows down. You are left in the standing position for 45 minutes, sometimes you are injected with drugs as well.

As a warning I had this test done and it has literally ruined my quality of life. I am now ruled by my VV. I have been forced to give up my sports and my career has been left in tatters, I cannot stand up for more than 10 minutes without collapsing and I don't get much warning either. Before I had maybe two/three episodes a year, now I am lucky if I get two days without an episode. Although this is rare, I am not alone in this experience, so I urge you to think _very_ carefully before having this test done and talk to your doctor about if it is a good idea.

Personally if I was you I wouldn't get it done, your VV seems to be bought about by panic attacks (you menationed claustophobia and passing out in hot crowded places) and in this situation the tilt test doesn't show anything at all anyway (it puts physical pressure on the vagal nerve) and you are not likely to pass out (unless of course you panic). I don't know if you are in the US or the UK but if you would be paying for the test I really wouldn't bother. Perhaps you could try counselling or something to help you with the claustrophobia and then that would help you with your VV.


This web site is not a substitute for a thorough medical evaluation and diagnosis of your vaso-vagal type symptoms.  Medical treatment and diagnosis is the only acceptable initial response to these serious symptoms since they might present from any number of life threatening and treatable illnesses. It is for you and your physician to rule out more serious illnesses; Please don't use this online forum as an alternative to getting responsible medical attention and being under the care of a physician for the duration of any unknown, suspected or dangerous vaso-vagal syndrome symptoms.
Last changed: June 22, 2007