Definition of Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy (Broken Heart Syndrome)

Reviewed on 3/21/2022

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the left ventricle of the heart, producing chest pain and shortness of breath, that occurs after severe emotional or physical stress. The condition, also known as broken-heart syndrome, was first described in 1990 in Japan. Over 90% of reported cases occur in women ages 58 to 75. The electrocardiogram (ECG) shows changes that mimic those of a heart attack, but in this condition, there is no blockage of the coronary arteries. Abnormalities that have been described with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy include movement abnormalities and ballooning of the left ventricle of the heart. The exact cause of the changes is not fully understood. Recovery usually occurs within a month after the symptoms begin. Events that have been linked to broken heart syndrome include natural disasters such as earthquakes, receiving bad news, serious accidents, intense fear, and others.

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References
"Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (broken-heart syndrome)." Harvard Health Publishing. Jan. 29, 2020. <https://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/takotsubo-cardiomyopathy-broken-heart-syndrome>.

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