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Clin Med (Lond). 2013 Jun;13(3):227-32. doi: 10.7861/clinmedicine.13-3-227.

Tilt-table test: its role in modern practice.

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1
Goodhope Hospital, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands, UK.

Abstract

Syncope is a major healthcare problem with significant morbidity, mortality and healthcare cost. It is a common symptom with a complex pathophysiology and, therefore, several aetiologies. Tilt-table testing (TTT) is an important, yet perhaps not widely-used, test that forms part of the management of syncope. We sought to assess the utilisation of this test in our institution for the investigation of patients with syncope, to study the referral patterns and the outcomes and usefulness of the TTT in a real-life setting. We undertook a retrospective study of all the TTT that were performed in our institution between January 2009 and October 2009. Of the 69 patients in which TTT was performed, 14 (20%) presented with presyncope, 24 (35%) with a single episode of syncope and 24 (44%) with multiple episodes. The average age was 57.2 years and 64% were female. Of the total patients, 35 (51%) had an abnormal TTT. Of the patients with normal TTT, four had internal loop recorders and six were referred to other medical specialities. The remaining patients (49%) had no formal diagnosis and were referred back to their general practitioner. TTT remains a common test modality and has great value when undertaken in the correct clinical context. This underlines the importance of a detailed clinical history. The European Society of Cardiology guidelines ensure a methodical and rational approach to syncopal patients and aide in choosing the right patient for the right test.

KEYWORDS:

Syncope; tilt-table testing

PMID:
23760693
DOI:
10.7861/clinmedicine.13-3-227
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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