Orthostatic hypotension is a significant drop in blood pressure soon after standing up.


Clinical signs and symptoms triggered by standing up:

(1) feeling light-headed

(2) presyncope or syncope

(3) blurring of the vision

(4) feeling weak

(5) buckling of the legs, with or without physical collapse

(6) cognitive slowing

(7) headache

(8) clonic jerks or other seizure-like activity


Complications secondary to severe hypotension:

(1) postprandial angina pectoris

(2) cerebral ischemia


The symptoms are typically relieved by lying down (unless associated with end organ damage like myocardial infarction).


The patient may have a history of head or other injury associated with sudden collapse after standing.


The drop in blood pressure can be confirmed by measuring the blood pressure while recumbent and then immediately after standing. A tilt-table provides more controlled conditions and protects the patient from falling.


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