Background: Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is associated with debilitating fatigue, dizziness, and discomfort in previously healthy adolescents. The effects of medical therapy have not been well studied in this patient population. This study assessed the relative efficacy and impact of drug therapy on the functioning and quality of life in adolescents with POTS. Methods: A retrospective, single center, chart review analysis with a follow-up written survey was conducted on a group of 121 adolescents who had undergone autonomic reflex screening at the Mayo Clinic from 2002 to 2005 as part of an evaluation for possible POTS. Results: Of 121 surveys sent, 47 adolescents returned a completed survey. In this cohort of patients, the two most commonly prescribed drug therapies were midodrine (n = 13) and β-blockers (n = 14). Patients in the midodrine group were comparable to patients in the β-blocker group in gender, age, pretreatment postural heart rate changes, and months from initial evaluation to survey completion. More patients treated with a β-blocker reported improvement after visiting Mayo Clinic (100% vs 62%, P = 0.016) and more attributed their progress to medication (63.6% vs 36.4%, P = 0.011) than did those treated with midodrine. Conclusion: Treatment with both midodrine and β-blockers was associated with overall improvement in POTS patients' general health; however, adolescents taking β-blockers were more likely than those taking midodrine to credit the role of medications in their improvement.
- Autonomic dysfunction
- Orthostatic intolerance
- Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine