Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center

Current research projects for people with POTS who are new to our program

Phenotype of Autonomic Dysfunction

A study that is appropriate for any patient that is thought to have autonomic impairment.   The aim of this study is to establish the baseline health of the autonomic nervous system and to help establish or confirm a preliminary diagnosis.   It includes autonomic reflex testing, blood pressure measurements lying, seated and standing along with blood sampling for plasma catecholamines.  There may be a tilt test, cardiac output measurements taken.   There are also some questionnaires.

Vascular Endothelial Function in POTS


This is a study that assesses whether the blood vessels in patients with POTS will react differently to certain tests than people without POTS. The study takes about two hours.  There is a fasting blood draw associated with this study.

 Genetic Basis of Autonomic Dysfunction

All patients with autonomic problems are asked to participate in a study that collects a blood sample for DNA extraction.   We feel strongly that DNA collection is a research tool that will may invaluable in the future to understanding the causes of these rare disorders.   There are no specific tests that are planned at the moment, and results from DNA testing will not be available to individual participants.

Treatment of Orthostatic Intolerance


This is a study that measures seated and standing blood pressures over a period of 4 hours in response to medication administration or other treatments (including an abdominal binder).

Angiotensin profile in POTS 

This brief study collects blood samples while the patient is lying down and then standing up.   Angiotensin levels may be altered in POTS.

Autonomic Nervous System and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00580619

In this ongoing study, we collect inflammatory markers in the blood from patients with POTS. This study may also include a total blood volume determination. Low blood volume may drive the hallmark tachycardia (fast heart rate) seen in patients with POTS.

This page was last updated February 22, 2013 and is maintained by