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Falls and Syncope Service

Head-up Tilt Test

IntroductionShow [+]Hide [-]

What is the Head-up Tilt Test?

This is a test which is used to find out the cause of your fainting spells and dizziness and enable us to check how your blood pressure and heart rate responds to standing.

During Your TestsShow [+]Hide [-]

What will happen during the test?
• A nurse or doctor will be with you at all times. The Head-up Tilt test (HUT) lasts about one hour.
• During the test you will lie on a special bed (a tilt bed) that has a foot board and a motor which we control
• We will ask you to change into a hospital gown. The nurse will connect you to an ECG to monitor your heart rate, and a blood pressure monitor.
• You will be awake and asked to lie quietly and to keep your legs still.
• This test involved being tilted upright (always head up) for a period of time.

Blood pressure and heart rate are recorded during the test.

How will I feel?
• With this test, we are trying to reproduce your symptoms in a safe environment.
• You may feel no symptoms at all, you may feel some symptoms of lightheadedness, dizziness, nausea, palpitations or blurred vision, or you may faint.
• Please tell the doctor and nurse how you are feeling during the test.

What are the benefits of having the test?
• This test will help to establish the cause of your falls, blackouts and/ordizziness and will help to guide the doctors to the right treatment for you. It may indicate that you need further tests.

What are the risks or side effects of the test?
• With this test we may reproduce symptoms of dizziness, pre-syncope or syncope, which will be monitored throughout the test. These symptoms will go away once you lie down. You may feel drained afterwards, similar to the symptoms that you experience at home.

What happens if I don’t have the test?
• We would not recommend this test unless we thought it would help to find the cause of your symptoms.
• If you do not have the test, it may reduce the chance of us discovering the cause of your symptoms and recommending the best treatment to help you.

After Your TestsShow [+]Hide [-]

What happens next?

  • If you have any symptoms, we will let you rest until you feel fully recovered.
  • The doctor will then discuss your test and inform you of the findings.
  • If the test is negative, the doctor may decide to refer you for other tests. These could include a 24-hour blood pressure monitor, 24-hour heart rate monitor, a scan of your heart or a monitor that you wear for a few weeks to monitor your heart rate. We will explain these to you at the time.
  • If the test is positive, the doctor will discuss the diagnosis with you and inform you about the treatment for this.

We hope that this leaflet has been helpful.

If you have any questions or are worried about the tests, please ask the doctor or nurse, who will explain them to you.

Contact Falls and Syncope Service
Telephone 0191 282 5237
Hours Monday to Friday 9.00am – 5.00pm

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