• Heart Rhythm · Jul 2022

    Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome as a sequela of COVID-19.

    • Cameron K Ormiston, Iwona Świątkiewicz, and Pam R Taub.
    • Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of California San Diego, San Diego, California; Division of Intramural Research, National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland.
    • Heart Rhythm. 2022 Jul 16; 19 (11): 188018891880-9.

    AbstractPostural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a complex multisystem disorder characterized by orthostatic intolerance and tachycardia and may be triggered by viral infection. Recent reports indicate that 2%-14% of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) survivors develop POTS and 9%-61% experience POTS-like symptoms, such as tachycardia, orthostatic intolerance, fatigue, and cognitive impairment within 6-8 months of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection. Pathophysiological mechanisms of post-COVID-19 POTS are not well understood. Current hypotheses include autoimmunity related to SARS-CoV-2 infection, autonomic dysfunction, direct toxic injury by SARS-CoV-2 to the autonomic nervous system, and invasion of the central nervous system by SARS-CoV-2. Practitioners should actively assess POTS in patients with post-acute COVID-19 syndrome symptoms. Given that the symptoms of post-COVID-19 POTS are predominantly chronic orthostatic tachycardia, lifestyle modifications in combination with the use of heart rate-lowering medications along with other pharmacotherapies should be considered. For example, ivabradine or β-blockers in combination with compression stockings and increasing salt and fluid intake has shown potential. Treatment teams should be multidisciplinary, including physicians of various specialties, nurses, psychologists, and physiotherapists. Additionally, more resources to adequately care for this patient population are urgently needed given the increased demand for autonomic specialists and clinics since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Considering our limited understanding of post-COVID-19 POTS, further research on topics such as its natural history, pathophysiological mechanisms, and ideal treatment is warranted. This review evaluates the current literature available on the associations between COVID-19 and POTS, possible mechanisms, patient assessment, treatments, and future directions to improving our understanding of post-COVID-19 POTS.Published by Elsevier Inc.

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    This article appears in the collection: Post-COVID POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome).


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