Deciding the type of orthostatic condition using BP and Pulse

Clinically, the type of orthostatic condition is determined by using a number of factors:
    •  the symptoms plus
    •  the changes in blood pressure (BP) plus
    •  the pulse (P)changes plus
    •  the timing of when the symptoms develop and when the changes in BP and pulse. .

There are clinical criteria that have been determined to diagnose orthostatic hypotension (OH) or neurally-mediated hypotension (NMH)and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS).

It helps to look at the timing of the changes - when the symptoms develop, what the BP and pulse are doing and to look at the experience of the person right away, after 3-10 minutes. For some people with more than one condition, it is important to keep watching the changes for as long as 30-45 minutes.

Types of Orthostatic Intolerance by Symptoms, BP and Pulse changes

  1. Moya, Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of syncope (version 2009). European Heart Journal (2009); 30: 2631-2671. Abstract. Article PDF.

Author: Kay E. Jewell, MD
Page Last Updated: AUgust 12, 2012