Tilt training: does it have a role in preventing vasovagal syncope?

Pacing Clin Electrophysiol. 2007 Dec;30(12):1499-505. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-8159.2007.00898.x.


Background: Vasovagal syncope is one of the most common medical conditions in young adults. Previous trials have shown effectiveness of tilt training in treating this condition. We conducted a prospective, randomized study in order to evaluate the role of tilt-training in young adults with vasovagal syncope.

Methods: Forty-six soldiers (mean age 19.4 +/- 0.8 years, 25 males), with a clinical diagnosis of vasovagal syncope supported by positive tilt test, were randomized to either three months of daily tilt training (treatment group), or no training (control group). Patients in both groups were instructed to increase fluid and salt intake, and to refrain from syncope-inducing situations, such as prolonged standing.

Results: Compliance, defined as performing 50% or more of the tilt training daily sessions, was 91% during the first month, and declined to 58% during three months. Treatment group patients had a median (interquartile range) of 5.0 (0.5-16.0) syncope episodes during one-year follow up, compared to a median of 2.0 (0-6.0) episodes in the control group (P = 0.737). Also, there was no difference in time to first syncope after randomization between groups: a median of 1.0 (0.5-2.0) month in the treatment group, compared to 0.8 (0.5-2.0) month in the control group (P = 0.336).

Conclusions: Adding daily three-month tilt training to modifications in lifestyle does not improve treatment results in young adults with vasovagal syncope. Good compliance is difficult to achieve in a tilt training program.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Chi-Square Distribution
  • Electrocardiography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Military Personnel
  • Prospective Studies
  • Recurrence
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Syncope, Vasovagal / physiopathology
  • Syncope, Vasovagal / prevention & control*
  • Tilt-Table Test*
  • Treatment Outcome