Pediatric-onset Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome in a single Tertiary Care Center, by Anthony Staples, Nicolas R Thompson and Manikum Moodley in J Child Neurol. Vol 35, Issue 8, 2020 [doi: 10.1177/0883073820916260]
We characterize the pediatric postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) population seen at a single tertiary care referral center.
Retrospective chart review of all pediatric POTS patients seen in our center between 2015 and 2017. Pediatric POTS was defined as chronic, at least 3 months, symptoms of orthostatic intolerance associated with excessive orthostatic tachycardia as determined by tilt table testing with orthostatic heart rate increment of ≥40 bpm within 5 minutes of head-up tilt or absolute orthostatic heart rate ≥130 bpm for patients 13 years old and younger and ≥120 bpm for those 14 years and older.
We looked at demographics, presenting symptoms, comorbidities, examination findings, investigation findings, treatment, and patient reported outcomes. Outcome measures were separated by patient report and group comparisons were made using 2-sample t tests or Mann-Whitney U tests for continuous variables and Fisher exact tests for categorical variables.
One hundred thirty-four patients with pediatric onset POTS were identified. The mean age was 15 years. Seventy-nine percent of patients were female and 90% were white. The most common presenting symptoms included dizziness/lightheadedness (88%), syncope (54%), and palpitations (40%). Many patients had significant comorbidities attributable to numerous bodily systems, most commonly headache syndromes (migraine 43%, nonspecific headache 22%, chronic daily headache 14%, and new daily persistent headache 5%) and chronic fatigue (60%). Low vitamin D and insufficient iron stores were commonly seen.
The majority of patients improved or had resolution of symptoms following treatment (70%). When separated by outcome, statistically significant differences were found for glucose (patients whose symptoms resolved had higher median glucose), palpitations (patients whose symptoms resolved were less likely to have palpitations), constipation (patients whose symptoms were stable/worsened were more likely to have constipation), and unexplained pain (patients whose symptoms were stable/worsened were more likely to have unexplained pain).
Pediatric POTS is a chronic condition with a fairly good prognosis following appropriate treatment. It is associated with numerous comorbidities that necessitate multidisciplinary expert care.