Exercise performance in adolescents with autonomic dysfunction

Barbara E.U. Burkhardt, Phil R. Fischer, Chad K. Brands, Co Burn J. Porter, Amy L. Weaver, Paul J. Yim, Paolo Pianosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Objective: To test the hypothesis that excessive postural tachycardia is associated with deconditioning rather than merely being an independent sign of autonomic dysfunction in patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). Study design: We retrospectively analyzed records from 202 adolescents who underwent both head up-tilt and maximal exercise testing. Patients were classified as POTS if they had ≥30 min-1 rise in heart rate (HR) after tilt-table test; and deconditioned if peak O2 uptake was <80% predicted. Changes in HR during exercise and recovery were compared between groups. Results: Two-thirds of patients were deconditioned, irrespective of whether they fulfilled diagnostic criteria for POTS, but peak O2 uptake among patients with POTS was similar to patients without POTS. HR was higher at rest and during exercise; whereas stroke volume was lower during exercise, and HR recovery was slower in patients with POTS compared with patients without POTS. Conclusions: Most patients who presented with chronic symptoms of dizziness, fatigue, or pre-syncope, were deconditioned, but, because the proportion of deconditioned patients was similar in POTS vs non-POTS groups, we conclude that HR changes in POTS are not solely because of inactivity resulting in deconditioning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15-19.e1
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funded in part by the American Dysautonomia Institute and the Huseby Family . The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


Dive into the research topics of 'Exercise performance in adolescents with autonomic dysfunction'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this