Purpose: Autonomic neuropathy is widely recognized to be associated with upper gastrointestinal symptoms and abnormal (i.e., rapid or slow) gastric emptying. While patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) may also have gastrointestinal symptoms, our understanding of gastric-emptying disturbances in POTS is very limited. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the relationship between gastric-emptying disturbances and gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with POTS. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of 22 well-characterized patients with POTS and upper gastrointestinal symptoms in whom autonomic (i.e., postganglionic sudomotor, cardiovagal, and adrenergic) functions and gastric emptying were evaluated using standardized techniques and scintigraphy, respectively. Medical records were reviewed retrospectively to assess clinical features, gastric emptying, and autonomic functions. Results: Over 70 % of patients had nausea and/or vomiting, which was the most common GI symptom; other common symptoms were abdominal pain (59 %), bloating (55 %), and postprandial fullness/early satiety (46 %). Over one-third of patients had abnormal [i.e., rapid (27 %) or delayed (9 %)] gastric emptying. Gastric-emptying disturbances were not significantly associated with GI symptoms, autonomic symptoms or autonomic dysfunction. Conclusions: Over one-third of patients with POTS and gastrointestinal symptoms have abnormal, more frequently rapid than delayed gastric emptying. These findings need to be confirmed in a larger cohort of patients.
- orthostatic intolerance
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Clinical Neurology