Autonomic Function Testing

Unique to SSM Health St. Clare Hospital - Fenton, autonomic nervous system testing is a specialized examination used to pinpoint the causes of autonomic nervous system problems.

This non-invasive testing focuses on the nerve connections between the brain, heart and other organs. It checks for imbalances that control autonomic processes, such as heart rate, blood pressure, gastrointestinal function and sweating.

What is Autonomic Function Testing Used For?

Autonomic nervous system testing may be used to evaluate and treat:

  • Recurrent fainting and syncopy
  • Dysautonomia
  • POTS (Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome)
  • Autonomic failure
  • Neurogenic orthostatic hypotension
  • Orthostatic intolerance
  • Small fiber nerve function
  • Sweat disorders such as anhidrosis and hyperhidrosis

Tilt Table Testing

Tilt table testing helps determine how blood pressure and heart rate change in response to the body’s position. It is often used as a way to define the cause of unexplained fainting. Your doctor may recommend this test if you’ve had repeated, unexplained episodes of fainting.

With a tilt table test, you’ll begin by lying flat on a table. Straps are used to hold you in place. For the first 15 minutes, you will be required to lie flat. Then, the table will rotate at various upright angles, accentuating the force of gravity and lessening muscle tone. Results of the test can show, for example, if a patient is disposed to low blood pressure or to fainting during these physiologic events.

To learn more about this testing or discuss any concerns you may have, call SSM Health Neurosciences at SSM Health St. Clare Hospital - Fenton. Our specialists can be reached at 636-496-3900.

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