Clinical characteristics of myocardial stunning in acute stroke

J Clin Neurosci. 2014 Aug;21(8):1279-82. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2013.11.022. Epub 2014 Feb 6.


Neurogenic stunned myocardium (NSM) after subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH) is well known, but there is a paucity of data regarding its occurrence following acute stroke. The aim of this study is to investigate the clinical characteristics of NSM in acute non-hemorrhagic stroke. We performed an electronic literature search with Medline and Google Scholar for English-language articles using the terms "ischemic stroke" along with "stunned myocardium" or "Takotsubo cardiomyopathy". The search resulted in seven case reports/series, but no prospective studies. The mean age of patients with myocardial stunning following ischemic stroke was 72.5 years and 77% of these patients were females. Insular cortex was involved in 38.4% of cases. Mean National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) score at admission was 12.6 and mean NIHSS at discharge was 10.8. T-wave inversions and ST-segment elevations were noted in 84.6% and 69.2% of patients, respectively. Mean troponin elevation was 0.64 mcg/dL and mean left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF) was 34.4%. In terms of outcomes, 84.6% of patients had significant improvement in LVEF, mostly within 4 weeks of onset of symptoms. To summarize, NSM was more common in females, with favorable prognosis. Less than half the patients with NSM following stroke had insular involvement. The mean troponin level in NSM after stroke was only half of that seen in SAH. While the lack of prospective studies on NSM in stroke patients precludes drawing further conclusions, more studies are warranted to investigate the risk factors for NSM and the effect on stroke outcomes.

Keywords: Acute stroke; Neurogenic stunned myocardium; Takotsubo cardiomyopathy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Ischemia / complications*
  • Brain Ischemia / epidemiology
  • Brain Ischemia / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Myocardial Stunning / epidemiology
  • Myocardial Stunning / etiology*
  • Myocardial Stunning / physiopathology*
  • Stroke / complications*
  • Stroke / epidemiology
  • Stroke / physiopathology*