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Tilt table testing is used to evaluate how the body regulates blood pressure in response to some very simple stresses. Blood pressure is regulated by a set of nerves, which operate continuously and subconsciously and are part of the autonomic nervous system. This set of nerves detects certain bodily needs and in response makes appropriate changes in blood pressure.
This part of the autonomic nervous system ensures there always is enough blood going to the brain, and distributes blood to other organs according to their needs.
At times, the nerves, which control blood pressure, may not operate properly, causing the blood pressure to drop suddenly. This reaction may produce a fainting spell or a number of symptoms including severe lightheadedness. Tilt table testing is designed to determine the likelihood that a patient is susceptible to this type of reaction.
Patients who have symptoms indicating a sudden drop in blood pressure may benefit from the evaluation of blood pressure regulation with a tilt table test. Tilt table testing may also be useful for patients who have symptoms of severe lightheadedness or dizziness, which don’t actually cause them to faint, but force them to sit down or lie down.