Background Tako-tsubo syndrome is a transient cardiomyopathy usually precipitated by an acute emotional or physiological stress. Our study objectives were to review and analyze the impact of emotional stress on clinical variables, echocardiographic characteristics, and short-term outcomes in patients with tako-tsubo syndrome.
Methods Retrospective chart review.
Results Eleven patients presented with tako-tsubo syndrome (1 man and 10 women) during the 8-year period (January 2000 to January 2008). The patients were split into 2 groups, defined by presenting either after emotional stress (6/11, 54.5%) or after idiopathic/physical stress (5/11, 45.5%). The mean age was 53.8 (12.6) years. The mean peak troponin T level was 0.54 ng/mL (range, 0.03-2.06 ng/mL), and the mean left ventricular end-diastolic pressure was 15.8 (8.1) mm Hg. Emotional stress was associated with younger age (P = 0.024), a lower left ventricular end-diastolic pressure (P < 0.05), more ST segment changes on electrocardiogram (66.7% vs 40%), and a higher ejection fraction (P = 0.012). The patients in the idiopathic/physical stress group required more frequent hemodynamic support.
Conclusions We conclude that clinical, echocardiographic, and outcome characteristics can differentiate tako-tsubo patients presenting with emotional stress from those with idiopathic/physical stress into 2 distinct clinical phenotypes. Clinicians should monitor idiopathic/physically stressed tako-tsubo patients carefully for hemodynamic compromise.