Takotsubo syndrome has been established as an entity in the past 30 years, particularly with the introduction of interventional angiography for investigation of chest pain. Typically, it occurs in middle-aged females as a response to a stressful event, such as bad news, death, accident, natural disaster, etc. but there is not always a specific trigger. Takotsubo mimics acute myocardial infarction with electrocardiogram changes and elevated troponins. On interventional angiography the coronary arteries are normal with typical apical ballooning of the left ventricle. This feature led to its descriptive name, given by Japanese cardiologists, as the left ventricle resembles a lobster trap with a narrow neck extending into a round ventricle. This leads to a reduction in cardiac function. Takotsubo is believed to be a response to catecholamine release following a stressful event resulting in temporary myocardial damage. It usually has a benign course with spontaneous return of cardiac function. However it may recur and in a small percentage of patients can result in sudden cardiac death with arrhythmia, acute myocardial infarction and cardiac rupture. It is usually treated symptomatically depending on the severity of presentation.
Mary N Sheppard - Organization: St George’s University Medical School, London, UK