Distinct Hemodynamic Responses That Culminate With Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Am J Cardiol. 2023 Jun 15;197:3-12. doi: 10.1016/j.amjcard.2023.03.027. Epub 2023 Apr 25.


It is of paramount importance to characterize the individual hemodynamic response of patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) to select the best therapeutic intervention. Our aim in this study was to describe the hemodynamic changes in 40 patients with POTS during the head-up tilt test and compare them with 48 healthy patients. Hemodynamic parameters were obtained by cardiac bioimpedance. Patients were compared in supine position and after 5, 10, 15, and 20 minutes of orthostatic position. Patients with POTS demonstrated higher heart rate (74 beats per minute [64 to 80] vs 67 [62 to 72], p <0.001) and lower stroke volume (SV) (83.0 ml [72 to 94] vs 90 [79 to 112], p <0.001) at supine position. The response to orthostatic challenge was characterized by a decrease in SV index (SVI) in both groups (ΔSVI in ml/m2: -16 [-25 to -7.] vs -11 [-17 to -6.1], p = NS). Peripheral vascular resistance (PVR) was reduced only in POTS (ΔPVR in dyne.seg/cm5:-52 [-279 to 163] vs 326 [58 to 535], p <0.001). According to the best cut-off points obtained using the receiver operating characteristic analysis for the variation of SVI (-15.5%) and PVR index (PVRI) (-5.5%), we observed 4 distinct groups of POTS: 10% presented an increase in both SVI and PVRI after the orthostatic challenge, 35% presented a PVRI decrease with SVI maintenance or increase, 37.5% presented an SVI decrease with PVRI maintenance or elevation, and 17.5% presented a reduction in both variables. Body mass index, ΔSVI, and ΔPVRI were strongly correlated with POTS (area under the curve = 0.86 [95% confidence interval 0.77 to 0.92], p <0.0001). In conclusion, the use of appropriate cut-off points for hemodynamic parameters using bioimpedance cardiography during the head-up tilt test could be a useful strategy to identify the main mechanism involved and to select the best individual therapeutic strategy in POTS.

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hemodynamics / physiology
  • Humans
  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome*
  • Vascular Resistance