Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

The diagnosis of vasovagal syncope often involves ruling out other possible causes of your fainting — particularly heart-related problems. These tests may include:

  • Electrocardiogram. This test records the electrical signals your heart produces. It can detect irregular heart rhythms and other cardiac problems that can cause fainting. In some cases, you may need to wear a portable monitor for at least a day or as long as a month.
  • Echocardiogram. This test uses ultrasound imaging to view the heart and look for conditions, such as valve problems, that can cause fainting.
  • Exercise stress test. This test studies heart rhythms during exercise. It's usually conducted while you walk or jog on a treadmill.
  • Blood tests. Your doctor may look for conditions, such as anemia, that can cause or contribute to fainting spells.

Tilt table test

If there appear to be no heart problems causing your fainting, your doctor may suggest you undergo a tilt table test. For a tilt table test:

  • You lie flat on your back on a table.
  • The table changes position, tilting you upward at various angles.
  • A technician monitors your heart rhythms and blood pressure to see if the postural changes affect them.
Feb. 19, 2013

You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic

Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.