Clinical characteristics of takotsubo cardiomyopathy in north america

N Am J Med Sci. 2013 Feb;5(2):77-81. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.107520.


Background: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) or transient left ventricular apical ballooning syndrome is an acute cardiac syndrome characterized by transient wall motion abnormalities extending beyond a single epicardial vessel in the absence of significant obstructive coronary artery disease.

Aim: This study was to describe the clinical characteristics of TC in North America.

Materials and methods: We identified 10 patients who met the Mayo Clinic criteria for TC using our Electronic Medical Records. We also conducted a systematic review of case series of TC that were done in North America by searching the MEDLINE database. We identified 11 case series that met our eligibility criteria.

Results: Our systematic review included 620 patients. Chest pain and ST segment elevation were the cardinal features of this syndrome, but the prevalence was lower than in the European and Asian cohort (50% and 39% as compared with 80% and 70%, respectively). Classic precipitating emotional or physical stress was described in > 80% of patients. Cardiac biomarkers were found to be elevated in >90% of our patients.

Conclusions: TC is a worldwide problem and clinical presentation appears to be similar in North American, European, and Asian countries. However, fewer patients in our cohort presented with typical chest pain and electrocardiography (ECG) changes, which might suggest ethnic variations in the syndrome or perhaps a more aggressive diagnostic approach in North American countries.

Keywords: Broken heart syndrome; Left ventricular apical ballooning syndrome; Stress induced cardiomyopathy; Takotsubo cardiomyopathy; Transient left ventricular dysfunction.