Tilt training for recurrent neurocardiogenic syncope: effectiveness, patient compliance, and scheduling the frequency of training sessions

Jpn Heart J. 2004 Sep;45(5):833-43. doi: 10.1536/jhj.45.833.


Unsatisfactory results obtained with medical therapy and dual-chamber pacing for prevention of recurrent neurocardiogenic syncope necessitated the development of new treatment modalities. Tilt-training, a novel treatment for recurrent neurocardiogenic syncope based on exercise sessions with prolonged upright posture (either on a tilt-table or standing on foot against a wall), was shown to be effective in preventing the recurrence of neurocardiogenic syncope. The purpose of this study was to demonstrate the long-term beneficial effects of a transient tilt training program lasting 2 months. Thirty-two patients with recurrent neurocardiogenic syncope (mean number of syncope episodes in the last 6 months was 3.4 +/- 2.3) constituted the study group. All of the patients were tilt test positive. The patients were taught a tilt training program with 2 phases (in-hospital training with repeated tilt procedures until 3 consecutive negative results were obtained and home exercises with standing against a wall) and home exercises lasted a maximum of 2 months. After this training program, the patients received no treatment and were followed for the recurrence of syncope. At the end of the follow-up period (376 +/- 45 days), 81% of the patients were free of recurrent syncope. This study revealed that similar successful results can also be obtained with a transient tilt training program as a first line treatment strategy. Less interference with the daily activities of the patients is the major advantage of this strategy. The ease of performance and high effectiveness rate will most likely result in more frequent utilization of this treatment modality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Head
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance
  • Posture*
  • Syncope, Vasovagal / therapy*
  • Tilt-Table Test
  • Treatment Outcome