Interaction between the heart and the brain in transient global amnesia

  • Philipp Eisele
  • Stefan Baumann
  • Laila Noor
  • Ibrahim El-Battrawy
  • Anne Ebert
  • Achim Gass
  • Ibrahim Akin
  • Maximilian Kittel
  • Michael Platten
  • Kristina SzaboEmail author
Original Communication



To analyse whether patients with transient global amnesia (TGA) have concomitant cardiac injury by assessing clinical symptoms, as well as blood and cardiologic test results.


In this retrospective observational study, we analysed 202 consecutive patients presenting with isolated TGA and treated at our institution between March 2010 and December 2018. We examined the incidence of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I (hs-cTNI) level elevation, electrocardiogram (ECG) findings, and data on clinical management.


Among the TGA patients, 17 (8.4%) exhibited elevated levels of hs-cTNI. Although none of the patients had ST elevation, 12 (6.7%) showed QTc prolongation and 11 (6.1%) an inverted T wave on ECG. No typical clinical symptoms suggestive of myocardial infarction were present in any of the cases, however, 17 (8.4%) patients complained of mild somatic symptoms. Patients with hs-cTNI level elevation had a significantly greater likelihood of a history of coronary heart disease (p = 0.03) and a significantly shorter TGA duration at presentation (p < 0.01). Of the 17 patients with hs-cTNI elevation, Takotsubo syndrome was diagnosed in 2, while in the remaining 15 hs-cTNI level elevation remained unresolved. A literature review indicated the female predominance for the occurrence of cardiac involvement in TGA.


Although the in-hospital outcomes appear favourable in all cases reported thus far, we believe that all patients with TGA should be carefully evaluated for potential underlying cardiac involvement and comorbidity. Further research on cardiac vulnerability in TGA should attempt to develop a diagnostic algorithm and assess the potential causes of cardiac injury in TGA.


TGA Transient global amnesia High-sensitivity cardiac troponin I MRI 


Author contributions

All the authors contributed to the study conception and design, material preparation, data collection and analysis. Kristina Szabo wrote the first draft of the manuscript and all the authors commented on previous versions of the manuscript. All the authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicts of interest

On behalf of all the authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.

Ethical standard

The study was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Medical Faculty Mannheim, Heidelberg University and conformed to the Code of Ethics of the World Medical Association (Declaration of Helsinki, 6th revision, 2008).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Eisele
    • 1
  • Stefan Baumann
    • 2
    • 3
  • Laila Noor
    • 1
  • Ibrahim El-Battrawy
    • 2
    • 3
  • Anne Ebert
    • 1
  • Achim Gass
    • 1
  • Ibrahim Akin
    • 2
    • 3
  • Maximilian Kittel
    • 4
  • Michael Platten
    • 1
  • Kristina Szabo
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Neurology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University Medical Centre MannheimHeidelberg UniversityMannheimGermany
  2. 2.First Department of Medicine - Cardiology, Medical Faculty Mannheim, University Medical Centre MannheimHeidelberg UniversityMannheimGermany
  3. 3.DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research), Partner Site Heidelberg-MannheimMannheimGermany
  4. 4.Institute for Clinical Chemistry, Medical Faculty MannheimHeidelberg UniversityMannheimGermany

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