Efficacy of Therapies for Postural Tachycardia Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Rachel Wells, Adrian D. Elliott, Rajiv Mahajan, Amanda Page, Valeria Iodice, Prash Sanders, Dennis H. Lau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To identify the evidence base and evaluate the efficacy of each treatment for postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) in light of a recent consensus statement highlighting the lack of treatment options with clear benefit to risk ratios for this debilitating condition. Methods: The CENTRAL (Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials), PubMed, and Embase databases from inception to May 2017 were searched using the terms postural AND tachycardia AND syndrome. A total of 135 full-text publications were screened after excluding duplicates (n=681), conference abstracts (n=467), and records that did not relate to POTS therapy (n=876). We included 28 studies with at least 4 patients with POTS in which symptomatic response was reported after more than 4 weeks of therapy. This review was performed according to the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses) statement. Two investigators independently performed the data extraction and evaluated the quality of evidence. Results: This study comprised 25 case series and 3 small randomized controlled trials that evaluated 755 and 103 patients with POTS, respectively. Interventions directed at increasing intravascular volume, increasing peripheral or splanchnic vascular tone, controlling heart rate, and increasing exercise tolerance demonstrate moderate efficacy (range, 51%-72%). Few data exist on their comparative effectiveness. Significant heterogeneities were seen in terms of patient age, symptom severity, and the measures used to evaluate treatment efficacy. Conclusion: The current evidence base to guide optimal management of patients with POTS is extremely limited. More high-quality collaborative research with standardized reporting of symptom response and treatment tolerability is urgently needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1043-1053
Number of pages11
JournalMayo Clinic Proceedings
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished or Issued - Aug 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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