Episode 898: Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy - The Emergency Medical Minute

Episode 898: Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy

Contributor: Ricky Dhaliwal, MD

Educational Pearls:

  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as “broken heart syndrome,” is a temporary heart condition that can mimic the symptoms of a heart attack, including troponin elevations and mimic STEMI on ECG.

  • The exact cause is not fully understood, but it is often triggered by severe emotional or physical stress. The stress can lead to a surge of catecholamines which affects the heart (multivessel spasm/paralysed myocardium).

  • The name “Takotsubo” comes from the Japanese term for a type of octopus trap, as the left ventricle takes on a distinctive shape resembling this trap during systole. The LV is dilated and part of the wall becomes akenetic. These changes can be seen on ultrasound.

  • The population most at risk for Takotsubo are post-menopausal women.

  • Coronary angiography is one of the only ways to differentiate Takotsubo from other acute coronary syndromes.

  • Most people with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy recover fully.


  1. Amin, H. Z., Amin, L. Z., & Pradipta, A. (2020). Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy: A Brief Review. Journal of medicine and life, 13(1), 3–7. https://doi.org/10.25122/jml-2018-0067

  2. Bossone, E., Savarese, G., Ferrara, F., Citro, R., Mosca, S., Musella, F., Limongelli, G., Manfredini, R., Cittadini, A., & Perrone Filardi, P. (2013). Takotsubo cardiomyopathy: overview. Heart failure clinics, 9(2), 249–x. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.hfc.2012.12.015

  3. Dawson D. K. (2018). Acute stress-induced (takotsubo) cardiomyopathy. Heart (British Cardiac Society), 104(2), 96–102. https://doi.org/10.1136/heartjnl-2017-311579

  4. Kida, K., Akashi, Y. J., Fazio, G., & Novo, S. (2010). Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Current pharmaceutical design, 16(26), 2910–2917. https://doi.org/10.2174/138161210793176509

Summarized by Jeffrey Olson MS2 | Edited by Jorge Chalit, OMSII


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Stay up to date by
joining our mailing list!