Improving the understanding of Takotsubo syndrome: consequences of diagnosis and treatment

Expert Rev Cardiovasc Ther. 2016 Jun;14(6):737-48. doi: 10.1586/14779072.2016.1149468. Epub 2016 Feb 24.


Takotsubo syndrome was first described in Japan in 1990. Although it has gained worldwide recognition in the last 25 years, the pathophysiology of Takotsubo syndrome remains controversial. This syndrome is often reported in elderly postmenopausal women suffering from sudden, unexpected emotional and physical stress. Its clinical presentation resembles that of acute myocardial infarction. The prognosis of Takotsubo syndrome was initially considered favorable compared with that of myocardial infarction; however, subsequent studies have demonstrated that the mortality was higher than previously reported. Prompt diagnosis followed by appropriate management for acute complications such as heart failure, arrhythmia, intraventricular thrombus, and left ventricular outflow tract obstruction is required. We discuss the current knowledge on Takotsubo syndrome to facilitate optimal diagnosis and treatment.

Keywords: Takotsubo cardiomyopathy; Takotsubo syndrome; apical ballooning; catecholamine; stress.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Catecholamines / blood
  • Diagnostic Techniques, Cardiovascular
  • Disease Management
  • Humans
  • Prognosis
  • Stress, Psychological* / complications
  • Stress, Psychological* / metabolism
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy* / diagnosis
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy* / physiopathology
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy* / psychology
  • Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy* / therapy


  • Catecholamines