Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is an important differential diagnosis of acute coronary syndrome. It is characterized by normal (or near-normal) coronary arteries, regional wall motion abnormalities that extend beyond a single coronary vascular bed, and often, a precipitating stressor. Variants of the classical left ventricular apical ballooning, including mid- or basal left ventricular wall motion abnormalities, are increasingly recognized. Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is not rare, and heightened awareness of this unique cardiomyopathy likely will lead to a higher reported incidence. Diagnosis of takotsubo cardiomyopathy has important implications for clinical management at presentation and afterward. The long-term prognosis is generally favorable; however, a small subset has potentially life-threatening complications during the initial presentation. The pathophysiologic mechanism is unknown, but catecholamine excess likely has a central role.
Copyright 2010 American College of Cardiology Foundation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.