Apical Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy in a COVID-19 Patient Presenting with Stroke: A Case Report and Pathophysiologic Insights

Am J Med Case Rep. 2020;8(10):350-357. Epub 2020 Jul 3.


COVID-19 is a pandemic that started in Wuhan city, Hubei province in China in December 2019 and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. It is characterized by a heightened inflammatory and prothrombotic state that are known to cause various cardiovascular manifestations such as thromboembolism, acute coronary syndrome and stroke. We here present a 72-year-old woman with multiple cardiovascular risk factors and COVI 19 pneumonia who presented with acute ischemic stroke. She was also noted to have ST segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) on the electrocardiogram however the imaging and clinical presentation was consistent with apical takotsubo cardiomyopathy. We here discuss the various pathophysiologic mechanisms by which COVID-19 can result in acute stroke. The patient likely developed takotsubo cardiomyopathy because of stroke and acute COVID-19 induced sympathetic stimulation and catecholamine surge. To the best of our knowledge this is the first case of apical variant of takotsubo cardiomyopathy in a COVID-19 report.

Keywords: COVID-19; STEMI; cerebrovascular accident; stress cardiomyopathy; stroke; takotsubo cardiomyopathy.