What is Postural Tachycardia Syndrome?

Postural tachycardia syndrome refers to an exaggerated increase in heart rate with standing. A healthy individual usually has a slight increase in heart rate—by about 10-15 beats per minute—within the first 10 minutes of standing. POTS is considered present if the heart rate increases by 30 beats per minute for adults, or 40 bpm for adolescents, or if it reaches 120 beats per minute or higher over the first 10 minutes of standing, accompanied by orthostatic symptoms. POTS is an abnormality in the regulation of heart rate; the heart itself is usually normal. Some patients with POTS in the first 10 minutes of upright standing or tilt testing will go on to develop NMH if the test is continued; the two conditions often are found together, and they are not mutually exclusive diagnoses. Both are capable of causing chronic, daily, orthostatic symptoms.

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