Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a common yet frequently misdiagnosed dysautonomia characterized by a significant increase in heart rate upon standing. POTS patients experience severe fatigue, dizziness, pre-syncope, and a diminished quality of life. The intent of this thesis is to investigate factors contributing to POTS misdiagnosis and develop a proposal for improving diagnostic procedures. The first part of this thesis presents an overview of other frequently misdiagnosed conditions, providing an understanding of the basis for the diagnostic problems in POTS and methods to combat such difficulties. The second part of this thesis details a meta-analysis performed on POTS clinical studies since its classification in 1993, in an attempt to synthesize current knowledge and potential deficits in research. Results show the misdiagnosis rates for POTS are understandably high, as POTS shares many characteristics with other misdiagnosed conditions. Analysis of these conditions demonstrates the need for easier in-clinic diagnostic tests for POTS. The meta-analysis results demonstrate misunderstanding about POTS remains within the scientific community. The final recommendations to reduce POTS misdiagnosis include using a blood pressure/heart rate screening test to identify patients sooner and shifting research efforts from etiology and treatment to prevalence and diagnostic procedures.
Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Medicine
Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences
Orlando (Main) Campus
Gill, Isabelle C., "Reducing the Rate of Misdiagnosis of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome" (2018). Honors Undergraduate Theses. 315.