Clinical Features of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy - A Single-Center Experience

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Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC), also known as transient apical ballooning syndrome or stress-induced cardiomyopathy, is a distinctive reversible condition often affecting postmenopausal women after a stressful event. It is characterized by sudden temporary systolic dysfunction of the apical and/or mid-segments of the left ventricle. The underlying mechanisms have not yet been elucidated, but several hypotheses include catecholamine cardiotoxicity, microvascular dysfunction and coronary artery spasm. We conducted a retrospective descriptive study on patients with the discharge diagnosis of TTC from 2003 to 2012 at Danbury Hospital, Danbury, Conn., USA. A total of 78 patients met the Modified Mayo Criteria for the Diagnosis of TTC and were included in the study. Clinical characteristics at baseline, past surgical and medical history including psychiatric records were reviewed and recorded. The mean age was 70.5 ± 14 years, 87% (n = 68) were women, of which 11.7% (n = 8) were aged ≤55 years. Depression was present in 20.5% (n = 16) of the patients and anxiety in 30.8% (n = 24). Twenty-one patients (27.3%) reported a preceding emotional stressful event and 31 (40.3%) had a preceding physical stressor. Fifty patients (64.1%) presented with chest pain, 28 (35.9%) had ST-segment elevation upon admission and 5 (6.3%) died during their hospital stay. TTC is becoming an increasingly recognized condition and clinicians should include it in the differential diagnosis of patients presenting with a suspected acute coronary syndrome. It is frequent in postmenopausal women with preceding physical or emotional stress and overall prognosis is good among patients who survive the initial acute phase of heart failure.

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