Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Program

The Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome Program (POTS Program) at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) was established specifically for the diagnosis and care of patients with postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). POTS is a severe form of dysautonomia — a malfunction of the autonomic nervous system — and also the most common form of the condition.

Most patients with POTS have difficulty standing upright. This results in a rapid heart rate (tachycardia) when standing, combined with nausea, fatigue, dizziness or fainting. Patients with POTS can also suffer from many symptoms, including exercise intolerance, blood pooling and mottling, gastrointestinal abnormalities, chronic pain, difficulty concentrating and bladder dysfunction. Severely and even moderately affected patients can struggle with daily activities and are sometimes unable to work, attend school or participate in recreational activities.

The POTS Program at CHOP is led by a team of clinicians from cardiology, neurology, gastroenterology, genetics and other areas. This makes our team one of the largest and most experienced in the nation dedicated to caring for children with this challenging and complex condition. Our specialists, including dedicated nurse practitioner Tom Bernadzikowski, MS, MSN, CRNP, and attending cardiologist Jeffrey Boris, MD, are committed to advancing treatment options and improving outcomes for children with POTS through research and awareness.

Our services

Through the POTS Program, your child will have direct access to the many pediatric specialists that he or she might need to help manage the various medical problems associated with POTS. Our family-centered care model also includes support services to help your child and family cope with having a chronic illness.

Related clinics and services available to your child at CHOP include, among others:

  • Division of Neurology’s Headache Clinic
  • Suzi and Scott Lustgarten Center for GI Motility
  • Metabolic Disease Section’s Connective Tissue Clinic
  • Pain Management Program
  • Division of Adolescent Medicine
  • Center for Sports Medicine and Performance
  • Sleep Center
  • Psychosocial services
  • Physical therapy

Appointments and location

The POTS Program at CHOP maximizes access to care and treatment by our full team at several locations. For your convenience, your child can be seen at a number of our CHOP Specialty Care Centers located in Chadds Ford, Exton, King of Prussia and Chalfont, as well as in Philadelphia at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Main Campus.

Both comprehensive new patient evaluations and follow-up appointments can be scheduled from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.