The POTS Program at Lurie Children’s provides comprehensive care to patients with cardiovascular symptoms of Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS).
Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome or “POTS” is a clinical syndrome characterized by a marked increase in heart rate with little to no change in blood pressure during position changes, plus symptoms of palpitations, dizziness, lightheadedness, near fainting and fatigue.
The Lurie Children's Difference
We understand that POTS can be very difficult to live with. Our providers are here for you and your family to create individualized care plans based on your needs to find a way to best navigate your care with an end goal of a syndrome and symptom-free life.
Jillian M. Myers, APRN-NP
Advanced Practice Provider, Cardiology and Preventive Cardiology Program; Program Coordinator, POTS Program
Kendra M. Ward, MD, MSCI
Director, Cardiopulmonary Exercise Lab; Director, Cardiac Rehabilitation Program; Director, Preventive Cardiology Program; Attending Physician, Cardiology
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Cardiology), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Brittany Holst, MS
What to Expect with the POTS Program
Management of POTS symptoms is primarily aimed at increasing circulating blood volume and enhancing blood return to the heart. Initial management of POTS symptoms includes conservative lifestyle measures such as hydration, exercise and nutrition. With early intervention and lifestyle changes, significant improvement in symptoms may occur within months.
Communication between our providers and families is very important to the work we do. If you have not already, please consider signing up for MyChart. This is the best way to get in touch with our providers directly to discuss things like new symptoms, questions and changes in medication.
Medical Care & Testing
The POTS team may recommend the following testing as part of your treatment:
- Echocardiogram: A non-invasive, pain-free procedure using sound waves reflected off the surfaces of the heart to providing moving images of your child's heart.
- Electrocardiogram (ECG/EKG): One of the simplest procedures used to evaluate the heart, taking only five to 10 minutes. The tracings allow the physician to see abnormal heartbeats that may indicate a heart problem.
- Orthostatic Vital Signs (also referred to as a "bedside tilt"): Our team will measure your child’s resting heart rate and blood pressure while lying flat on the exam table. Your child will then stand up for up to 10 minutes. Our team will monitor your child’s heart rate and blood pressure at regular intervals throughout and monitor your symptoms.
- Blood Work: Blood work may be performed to assess for other causes or conditions that may be associated with POTS. Blood tests commonly ordered during the initial evaluation include CBC, CMP, thyroid function, ferritin, and vitamin D.
- Urinalysis: This test involves collecting a urine sample that will help assess hydration status.
- Holter or Event Monitor: A Holter monitor, a small device that records your child's heartbeats for 24 hours or longer, allows the physician to see abnormal beats or rhythms that may be causing your child's symptoms.
- Cardiopulmonary Exercise Stress Test (CPET) with exercise consultation and prescription: An exercise stress test measures the heart's response to stress or exercise. An electrocardiogram (ECG) is monitored while children exercise on a treadmill or stationary bike. Your child will meet with our POTS Exercise Physiologist and complete a cardiopulmonary exercise stress test (CPET) followed by exercise consultation and an individualized exercise prescription.
Make an Appointment/Referrals
For New Patients
- If your child or patient is being referred to the POTS Program, they must have an evaluation with general cardiology and an echocardiogram to exclude structural heart disease before the initial POTS appointment is scheduled.
- Your child or patient must have a current evaluation with a cardiology provider (within Lurie Children's or an outside provider) within the last 12 months.
- If your child or patient does not have a current cardiology provider, then please call 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC) to schedule an evaluation with a cardiology provider.
- If your child or patient has been seen by an outside cardiology provider within the last 12 months, then please call
- 1.800.543.7362 (1.800.KIDS DOC) to schedule an appointment in the POTS Program.
- If you are a new patient to us but you have had cardiac testing in the past, please send these records to fax: 312.227.9640, Attn: POTS Program.
For Established Patients
To schedule a follow-up visit, please contact our program scheduler at 227.4100.
In addition to in-person visits, we now offer telemedicine visits via video or phone. Some appointments will still require you to be seen in-person, but your care team will let you know if a telemedicine appointment is available.
For families or providers seeking a second opinion, we offer a Priority Second Opinion Clinic.