March 9, 2020
Impacting care for patients
Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) is a debilitating condition that is not well understood. The hearts of these patients race when they are in an upright position and they often have symptoms like lightheadedness, nausea, headache and fatigue. Because there are numerous conditions that can cause these symptoms, POTS patients can be misdiagnosed.
Libin clinician-researchers Dr. Satish Raj and Dr. Bob Sheldon led a panel of eight experts who are working to change that. The group recently wrote a position statement on POTS and related disorders for the Canadian Cardiovascular Society. Now published in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, the position paper includes clarifications about the diagnostic criteria for POTS, and includes a list of common symptoms, lists similar conditions, and provides recommendations for treatment and management of the condition.
Congratulations to Drs. Raj and Sheldon for their involvement in this position paper, the first of its kind in Canada.
Cardiac amyloidosis is a disorder caused by abnormal protein deposits in the heart tissue. This potentially fatal heart condition can be hard to diagnosis for a number of reasons, including a lack of physician awareness and non-specific symptoms (which may resemble other common heart conditions), especially in the early stages of the disease. Cardiac amyloidosis also presents differently from patient to patient and ranges widely in severity. There are also different subtypes of the condition. All of these factors contribute to widespread under-diagnosis of this potentially fatal cause of heart failure.
The research of Libin Cardiovascular Institute physician and scientist, Dr. Nowell Fine, focuses on this rare disorder. His position paper in the March 2020 edition of the Canadian Journal of Cardiology. details the latest advancements in diagnosing and treatment for cardiac amyloidosis, providing detailed instruction on how to recognize, evaluate and care for patients with this condition. The goal of this work is to help physicians recognize the condition in its earlier stages. Early diagnosis increases the likelihood that patients will respond well to therapy, which in turn improves outcomes for patients.
Fine also published an editorial on the same subject in the March 2020 edition of CJC.