Autonomic Testing Lab
A state-of-the-art autonomic testing lab is available at Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. The lab offers some of the quickest, most comprehensive care available throughout New England.
Autonomic nervous system testing helps to determine the presence, severity and localization of autonomic dysfunction.
Includes: EKG, Sympathetic skin Response Test, Assessment of Heart Rate Variability to Deep Breathing, Evaluation of Hemodynamic Responses to Valsalva Maneuver, Tilt Table Test and Active Stand
Through these battery of tests, sudomotor, cardiovagal and adrenergic function are characterized. Non-invasive monitoring of beat-to-beat blood pressure and heart rate is performed throughout the test. Simultaneous EEG monitoring is an option if seizure vs. syncope is of concern.
All autonomic studies will be interpreted and available within two weeks of the completed study.
Complete this form and check the autonomic test series, then fax the form back to us at 617-983-7162.
For questions, call 617-983-7580.
Autonomic testing lasts between 1 to 2 hours long.
Autonomic testing consists of deep breathing exam, valsalva maneuver, cranial Doppler (blood flow), sweat test, tilt test and/or skin biopsy.
If you do not get the skin biopsy done, it will take 2 to 3 days to interpret your results. If you do get the skin biopsy, then it will take 3 to 4 weeks for results.
We do not administer any medication during testing. However, for the skin biopsy we do give a Lidocaine injection to numb the sites we take the sample from. If patients are allergic to Lidocaine we do offer a cold spray to freeze the area before taking the sample.
Right after testing you can resume all regular activities including driving but if you have concerns feel free to bring someone with you.
Avoid drinking alcohol, caffeinated beverages and smoking one day prior to testing. You can have a normal meal before testing. Do not use lotion or oils on legs or arms day of testing. Wear a loose fitting short-sleeve top and bring a change of shorts. Ask your physician about what medications you should stop taking before testing.
Yes, there is a weight limit. Patients over 350 lbs. are unable to be tested.
Patients that arrive more than 15minutes late will need to reschedule their appointment. Cancellations should be made 24 hours or more before the scheduled test date by calling 617-983-7160.
The skin biopsy is 2 to 3mm wide and deep, it does not require stitching, just a regular bandage. You will not be able to submerge the biopsy sight in water for 1 week so please schedule testing accordingly.
Yes, we recommend checking with your insurance company prior to testing to ensure the procedure is covered and the facility is in network. For procedure codes and/or NPI numbers please call 617-983-7104.
Lidocaine is the only medication we give topically for the skin biopsy. If a patient is allergic to Lidocaine we have an Epinephrine-free alternative or we use the cold spray. For patients with Latex allergies we offer Latex-free dressings like paper tape, etc.
Yes, you can bring one person in with you for testing but we ask that that person not interrupt you during testing.
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