Clinical characteristics and outcome of apical ballooning syndrome in Auckland, New Zealand

Heart Lung Circ. 2012 Mar;21(3):143-9. doi: 10.1016/j.hlc.2011.11.010. Epub 2012 Jan 10.


Background: Apical ballooning syndrome (ABS) mimics myocardial infarction but is characterised by transient left ventricular (LV) dysfunction without significant coronary artery obstruction.

Methods: We prospectively identified 100 consecutive patients presenting in the Auckland region between March 2004 and July 2010 and obtained clinical, laboratory, electrocardiography, echocardiography, coronary angiography and long-term follow-up data.

Results: Chest pain or dyspnoea were the most common presenting symptom, 95% were women (mean age 65 ± 11 years). An associated stressor was identified in two-thirds of patients, troponin was elevated in all patients, and one-third had ECG ST-elevation. There was a similar range of initial LV ejection fraction (EF), myocardial damage, LV recovery and prognosis in those with and without ST-elevation, and with and without identifiable stressors. One-quarter had a complicated in-hospital course. Lower admission LVEF, but not peak troponin level or ECG ST-elevation, was associated with a complicated in-hospital course. The mean follow-up was 3.0 ± 1.7 years. One patient died in hospital. Four died late after discharge, all from non-cardiac causes. Seven had recurrent ABS.

Conclusion: In this large, prospective, New Zealand ABS cohort a quarter of patients had a complicated in-hospital course, but almost all recovered, recurrence was infrequent and long-term prognosis dependent on associated non-cardiac disease.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Chest Pain
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Dyspnea
  • Electrophysiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • New Zealand
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Stroke Volume
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy / diagnosis*
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy / diagnostic imaging
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy / pathology
  • Ultrasonography, Doppler
  • Ventricular Function, Left