Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) or syndrome was first described more than 2 decades ago by Dote and colleagues in Japan, but has since been increasingly recognised around the world.1 Takotsubo is the Japanese name for a the traditional octopus trapping pot that has a round bottom and narrow neck, resembling the appearance the left ventricle during the acute presentation (see Figure 1).2 Although, as early as the 1980s, sporadic cases from Europe had described the association between acute stress causing a transient regional wall motion abnormalities of the left ventricle,3 it was Desmet and colleagues who first reported a case series of TC in Europe.4 Twelve of 13 of their patients were women with a mean age of 62 years. A triggering factor was documented in nine cases. All patients had extensive apical akinesia and hence the term apical ballooning was used in their paper.
Apical ballooning syndrome is an alternative name for TC that was also coined in Japan by Tsuchihashi and colleagues who published their seminal case series of 88 patients in 2001, identified from a registry of patients with coronary artery disease.5 Alternative nomenclature for TC includes stress cardiomyopathy, and the one favoured in the lay press is Broken Heart Syndrome. TC is the terminology used in a position statement from the European Society of Cardiology in which it is listed as an unclassified cardiomyopathy.6