Takotsubo cardiomyopathy: an uncommon cause of ST segment elevation in Intensive Care*

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A 63-year-old female developed respiratory failure and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit for non-invasive ventilation, inotropic support and antibiotic therapy. The patient was initially stable but then suddenly deteriorated with acute pulmonary oedema requiring mechanical ventilation. An electrocardiogram showed an acute ST elevation myocardial infarction and the patient subsequently had an urgent coronary angiogram which revealed normal coronary arteries but apical ballooning characteristic of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. A short review is provided of this relatively newly described heart syndrome which has the potential to present in numbers of intensive care patients. This case emphasises the importance of being aware of uncommon causes of acute ECG changes in the critically ill.

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