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A Journal on Heart and Vascular Diseases

Official Journal of the Italian Society of Angiology and Vascular Pathology
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Minerva Cardioangiologica 2005 April;53(2):139-46

language: English

Tako-tsubo-like left ventricular dysfunction:. Clinical presentation, instrumental findings, additional cardiac and non-cardiac diseases and potential pathomechanisms

Stöllberger C., Finsterer J., Schneider B.


Tako-tsubo-like left ventricular dysfunction phenomenon (TTP) has primarily been described in Japan and is characterized by transient left ventricular apical ballooning in the absence of coronary artery disease, associated with chest symptoms, electrocardiographic changes and minimal cardiac enzymes release. Aim of the present review is to summarize the current knowledge about TTP. TTP has been described predominantly in females. TTP occurs also outside Japan. Clinical symptoms comprise anginal chest pain, dyspnea and syncope. TTP occurs frequently after acute emotional or physical stress. Electrocardiographic ST- elevations may be present only for several hours. Then, normalization of the ST-segment occurs, followed by negative T waves, which persist for months. Arterial hypertension in TTP is found in up to 76%, hyperlipidaemia in up to 57%, diabetes mellitus in up to 12% and smoking in up to 18% of the patients. Several pathomechanisms have been proposed: myocardial stunning due to increased catecholamine levels, coronary vasospasm, atherosclerotic plaques rupture, myocarditis, catecholamine-induced hyperkinesis of the basal left ventricular segments and genetic. Patients with TTP should be monitored like patients with myocardial infarction. Care should be taken in the application of catecholamines and nitrates. Betablockers should be given in the acute and chronic phase, and possibly indefinitely to prevent recurrences. The prognosis of TTP is assumed to be good, but in the acute phase there are deaths due to multisystem organ failure, cardiogenic shock, ventricular fibrillation and ventricular rupture. The long term prognosis of TTP patients is largely unknown.

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