Stress cardiomyopathy: broken heart syndrome (or Takotsubo syndrome)
Takotsubo syndrome, also known as stress cardiomyopathy, is a temporary non-ischaemic cardiomyopathy that results from stressful and emotionally intense situations
Definition of Takotsubo syndrome
TakoTsubo syndrome or broken heart syndrome, or stress cardiomyopathy, is a temporary heart condition in which all the symptoms of a heart attack occur as a result of emotionally intense stressful situations.
This syndrome falls under non-ischaemic cardiomyopathies as it does not interfere with proper blood flow.
Stress, involves activation of the cerebral cortex and our autonomic nervous system; cortisol and hormones called catecholamines are released.
Catecholamines, released in higher than normal amounts, have a toxic effect on the heart muscle.
Catecholamines, in addition to being toxic to the heart, may cause vasoconstriction of the coronary arteries and microcirculation, those small vessels that run inside the ventricle wall, resulting in ischaemia.
Thus, the effect is similar to heart attack even though the causes are not the same.
The name ‘TAKOTSUBO’ comes from a Japanese word used to refer to a kind of basket used by local fishermen to catch octopus
The researchers decided to use this name because the various echocardiograms and MRI scans showed that the patient’s left ventricle takes on a shape similar to the TAKOTSUBO.