The Takotsubo (Broken Heart Syndrome)
An interesting syndrome called the takotsubo syndrome was described by Japanese investigators close to 20 years ago. It is characterized by the sudden development of chest pain, ECG changes, and cardiac decompensation in a postmenopausal woman who has just been through a severe emotional stress. The left ventricular contraction pattern resembles a takotsubo, a Japanese octopus fishing pot. With supportive care, these patients survive the episode. Their cardiac function returns to normal. It is likely that the emotionally induced catecholamine surge in an estrogen-deficient woman causes a combination of epicardial coronary artery constriction, constriction of the myocardial microvasculature, and produces a direct stunning effect on the left ventricular myocardium.
KeywordsTakotsubo Cardiomyopathy Myocardial Stunning Epicardial Coronary Artery Takotsubo Syndrome Breast Cyst