About Testing and Preparation
The autonomic test has four components, completed during the approximately 1 1/2 hour-long test:
- Heart Rate response to Deep Breathing: Measures how your heart rate responds to deep breathing
- Heart Rate response to Valsalva: Measures how your heart rate and blood pressure responds to forceful exhalation.
- Tilt Table Testing: Measures your blood pressure and heart rate while laying and upright at 80 Deg for 10-15 minutes.
- Sudomotor function (QSART): Measures sweat output contained in QSART capsules. Four capsules will be placed on your forearm, foot and leg and a small current will be sent through the capsules containing acetylcholine. This will stimulate your skin nerves and sweat glands to sweat. The test is painless; you may only feel a warm, tingling like sensation during the test.
These will measure both your sympathetic and parasympathetic system.
To ensure valid results with testing, certain medications, if permitted by the referring doctor, may need to be held several days prior to appointment. These medications could include over the counter cold and allergy remedies (Benadryl, antihistamines, anti-allergy), antidepressants, anti-nausea agents, blood pressure medications (beta blockers) anti-Parkinson agents, neuroleptics, and muscle relaxants. Please contact us for medication review and recommendation.
Before your test we ask to provide the following:
- Completed Referral Form from referring doctor.
- Sometimes the medical insurance provider requires the referring physician’s office to obtain pre-certification from the medical insurance company before the testing can be scheduled.
- Medical insurance information/insurance card.
Northwest Autonomic Laboratory will provide the clinical and diagnostic information to the referring physician. Based on this information your doctor can develop the necessary treatment plan and prescribe medication to treat the underlying disease and manage your specific symptoms.
Please follow the guidelines below prior to your test appointment:
- Do not have any alcoholic drinks 14 hours before your study
- Do not use any nicotine (smoke, nicotine patch or nicotine products) or caffeine (tea, coffee, chocolate or caffeinated soft drinks) 3 hours before your study
- Do eat a normal meal prior to testing (except coffee or chocolate)
- Dress in loose clothing such as T-shirt and sweatpants
- Your skin should be free of any lotion, oil, cream, or perfume
- If you have a cardiac pacemaker please call us for special arrangements
- If you become dizzy or faint easily, please have someone drive you. If not you will be able to drive yourself.
- You can resume all regular medications after the test.