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Pediatr Neurol. 2010 Feb;42(2):77-85. doi: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2009.07.002.

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome: a clinical review.

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1
Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, USA. Johnson.Jonathan@mayo.edu <Johnson.Jonathan@mayo.edu>

Abstract

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome was defined in adult patients as an increase >30 beats per minute in heart rate of a symptomatic patient when moving from supine to upright position. Clinical signs may include postural tachycardia, headache, abdominal discomfort, dizziness/presyncope, nausea, and fatigue. The most common adolescent presentation involves teenagers within 1-3 years of their growth spurt who, after a period of inactivity from illness or injury, cannot return to normal activity levels because of symptoms induced by upright posture. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is complex and likely has numerous, concurrent pathophysiologic etiologies, presenting along a wide spectrum of potential symptoms. Nonpharmacologic treatment includes (1) increasing aerobic exercise, (2) lower-extremity strengthening, (3) increasing fluid/salt intake, (4) psychophysiologic training for management of pain/anxiety, and (5) family education. Pharmacologic treatment is recommended on a case-by-case basis, and can include beta-blocking agents to blunt orthostatic increases in heart rate, alpha-adrenergic agents to increase peripheral vascular resistance, mineralocorticoid agents to increase blood volume, and serotonin reuptake inhibitors. An interdisciplinary research approach may determine mechanistic root causes of symptoms, and is investigating novel management plans for affected patients.

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