How is postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) characterized?

Updated: Oct 21, 2018
  • Author: Mohini Gurme, MD; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

POTS is a common, relatively benign disturbance of the sympathetic nervous system that primarily affects young women. POTS either develops slowly in adolescence, or abruptly after a febrile illness or other immunological challenge. This latter presentation may be due to an autoimmune mechanism. POTS is characterized by excessive adrenergic symptoms when the patient stands up. Syncope may occur but is unusual. A greater than 30-bpm increase in heart rate on standing, without substantial blood pressure reduction, is diagnostic. The causes of POTS are likely heterogeneous.


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