Broken Heart Syndrome, stress induced cardiomyopathy, left ventricular wall ballooning, that resembles a traditional Japanese ceramic octopus trap…Takotsubo; all of these yes. Japanese motorcycle…unfortunately not.
Often spoken about it like the mythical unicorn, rarely do we have the opportunity to discover one in our daily clinical investigation. This month at Right Seat Medicine, the Erin Baker brings to us a presentation of Takotsubo (Stress) Cardiomyopathy.
Broken Heart Syndrome, otherwise known as apical ballooning syndrome, which is characterized by transient systolic dysfunction of mid segment or apex of the left ventricle, can mimic an acute myocardial infarction, without the presence of obstructive coronary artery disease.
The pathogenesis is not well understood, but is often triggered by medical illness or emotional stress.
So what does it look like when you actually find one of these patients. Invariably most are post menopausal females who have suffered some variance of emotional distress and present with atypical or vague histories of malaise or discomfort. Not typically the population we would always perform a 12 lead echocardiogram upon, but todays case will again highlight the (differential and) diagnostic value of the 12 lead ECG.