The transient left ventricular apical ballooning syndrome, also known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, is characterized by transient wall-motion abnormalities involving the left ventricular apex and mid-ventricle in the absence of obstructive epicardial coronary disease. In this paper, we review case series that report on patients with the transient left ventricular apical ballooning syndrome to better characterize patients presenting with the syndrome. We identified 7 case series that reported on at least 5 consecutive patients with the transient left ventricular apical ballooning syndrome. The syndrome more often affects postmenopausal women (82% to 100%) (mean age, 62 to 75 years). Patients commonly present with ST-segment elevation in the precordial leads, chest pain, relatively minor elevation of cardiac enzyme and biomarker levels, and transient apical systolic left ventricular dysfunction despite the absence of obstructive epicardial coronary disease. An episode of emotional or physiologic stress frequently precedes presentation with the syndrome. The in-hospital mortality rate seems to be low, as does the risk for recurrence.