What is PoTS? Is it an illness?

(From June 2017 Paediatric Pearls Newsletter)

It stands for Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome, an autonomic disturbance

From support group POTS UK

leading to light-headedness, sweating, tremor, palpitations and near syncope in the upright position1

Definition:

  • Heart rate >120bpm on standing
  • HR increase > 40bpm after 10 minutes of standing (if aged 12-19 yrs. >30bpm if older)2

 

  • Despite our traditional concern with lying and standing blood pressures, it
    is the persistent tachycardia that characterises this health condition. Blood
    pressure may not change at all.
  • Recognised in age group 12 – 50, female to male ratio of 5:1
  • Can be primary (eg. adolescence) or secondary (eg. diabetes, hypermobility)
  • Different types and some are associated with a particular gene mutation
  • Can be diagnosed on tilt table or active stand test if necessary
  • Reassurance, a healthy lifestyle with sufficient aerobic exercise and fluid
    intake will help with symptoms and most adolescents grow out of it

 

  1. Agarwal A et al. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome. Postgrad Med J 2007;83:478-480
  2. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/postural-tachycardia-syndrome/Pages/Introduction.aspx

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