Head Up Tilt Table Test (HUTT)


Fainting or syncope occurs by several different mechanisms. It is important to determine the cause of the syncope to understand the risks and severity of future fainting episodes. A tilt table test can provide this information.

The most common type of syncope is vasovagal syncope due to an abnormal neurological reflex. While this cause of fainting can be frightening to those who witness it, it is rarely life-threatening. People with simple fainting experience a sudden drop in blood pressure, and/or heart rate often while they are standing or sitting.

Why is the doctor performing this test?

To determine why you are fainting (fainting is also called syncope).

What is Head Up Tilt Table Test?

During a Tilt Test, the patient lies on a table and is connected to an ECG machine and a blood pressure cuff on one arm. The table is then tilted upwards (head up) to 60 – 70 degrees. The patient will have comfortable straps over their legs and lower chest for a sense of security. The table is kept up for 20 – 30 minutes with the patient’s heart rate constantly monitored and blood pressure checked every minute. If there is no response, a medication [sublingual nitroglycerine spray] may be administered under your tongue and monitored for 10 minutes. If the patient develops symptoms of light-headedness or fainting the table is laid flat and the test is terminated.

The image illustrates Head Up Tilt Table Test.


You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for at least 5 hours before the test. The Nurse or Technician will explain the procedure. After the test, you will be asked to take rest for 15-30mins.

-Senior Consultant Cardiologist & Electrophysiologist

-Chief, Cardiac Pacing and Arrhythmia Services

-Department of Cardiac Pacing and Electrophysiology

-Apollo Hospitals, Greams Road, Chennai.

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