Schellong Test – An examination of the circulation function

What is the Schellong test?

The Schellong test is a simple examination method for checking the circulatory function and clarifying sudden drops in blood pressure. More severe drops in blood pressure or low blood pressure can occur when those affected feel dizzy when getting up or when their eyes turn black. Also unclear falls can indicate a circulatory regulation disorder. Here the Schellong test can provide first impressions.

How is the Schellong test performed?

No physical intervention is required to perform the Schellong Test. Only a blood pressure and heart rate measurement is necessary. The patient first relaxes on the couch for about ten minutes.

After the patient has been lying down, his blood pressure and heart rate are measured. Then the patient should stand up. Immediately after getting up, both parameters are measured again. The patient should now remain standing for about ten minutes. During this time a new measurement of blood pressure and heart rate is taken every minute.

Why is the Schellong test performed?

The Schellong test evaluates the change in blood pressure when the body position changes from lying down to standing. When standing up quickly, the blood runs into the legs due to gravity. This is also called orthostasis reaction.

The blood circulation in the head and heart decreases. The body reacts to this mechanism to prevent a sharp drop in blood pressure or to keep it as constant as possible. It does this by causing the blood vessels to constrict and by increasing the heart rate. If the physical action is insufficient, symptoms may occur that indicate low blood pressure or a sharp drop in blood pressure. With the Schellong test, the blood pressure values determined can be used to make initial assessments of the circulation function.

What can be diagnosed with the Schellong Test?

The Schellong test is used to assess the change in blood pressure when getting up. This is also called orthostatic regulation. The following is to be expected when getting up: In this case a disturbance of the circulatory function is not to be assumed.

However, if the blood pressure drops more when getting up, this may be an indication of an orthostatic problem or a disturbed circulatory system. The cause of the circulatory disorder can be suggested by a precise visualization of the blood pressure and heart rate values. One cause can be, for example, a defective regulation by the vegetative system (the sympathetic nervous system).

  • The pulse normally increases by about 10-20 beats/minute
  • The upper blood pressure value usually drops a little, while the lower blood pressure value increases slightly

These symptoms may indicate low blood pressure or a rapid drop in blood pressure (circulatory weakness):

  • Dizziness, especially when standing up quickly