Northwest Autonomic Laboratory

We are now offering Autonomic Testing at the Northwest Autonomic Laboratory (Kirkland location). This exciting and unique test allows us to determine how the autonomic nervous system is functioning and can help diagnose the presence of autonomic disease. Testing is based on the Mayo Clinic Autonomic Lab protocols. Our lab is the first and only autonomic lab on the East Side to offer this unique diagnostic resource.

The purpose autonomic testing is to provide a diagnosis and determine severity of dysautonomic disorders. It can help identify the distribution of the illness.

Autonomic testing has been well validated. It is a simple, safe, non-painful, test, covered medical insurance.

Typical conditions that are tested include:

  • Orthostatic hypotension (syncope or fainting)
  • Neurogenic syncope
  • Unexplained dizziness, fainting
  • Recurrent fainting spells
  • Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS)
  • Autonomic neuropathies
  • Distal small fiber neuropathies
  • Complex regional pain syndrome (RSD)
  • Monitoring of autonomic failure including response to treatments

Common patient symptoms include orthostatic intolerance, neurogenic syncope, vasomotor (“coldness”) symptomatology, abnormal sweating, heat intolerance, gastro paresis, exercise intolerance.

The autonomic test involves four components, completed during the approximately 1 1/2 hour long test:

  1. Heart Rate response to Deep Breathing: Measures cardiac parasympathetic response
  2. Heart Rate response to Valsalva: Measures cardiac sympathetic/adrenergic response
  3. Tilt Table Testing: Measures both adrenergic and parasympathetic response
  4. Sudomotor function (QSART): Measures sweat output of small nerve fibers (autonomic nervous system) of the skin

Patient Preparation: Many things can invalidate the autonomic test so we ask the following.

  • Do not drink alcohol 14 hours prior to testing
  • Do not drink caffeinated beverages 3 hours prior to testing (coffee, sodas with caffeine, tea)
  • Do not use nicotine (smoke, nicotine patch of nicotine products) 3 hours prior to testing
  • Do not use lotions, creams, perfumes or other skin product prior to testing
  • Dress in loose clothing
  • Do eat a normal breakfast or lunch but no caffeine

Certain medications may need to be held prior to testing. Medications include over the counter cold remedies, Benadryl, antihistamines, antidepressants, antinausea agents, blood pressure meds, beta blockers, antiparkinson agents, neuroleptics, muscle relaxants.

To schedule an appointment please call our Kirkland office at 425-899-6200 or fax a referral to 425-899-6220. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.