Takotsubo syndrome or broken heart syndrome, can occur when a person experiences sudden acute stress that can rapidly weaken the heart muscle and often mimic or cause cardiomyopathy. Dr. Brian J. Adams, discusses why this can occur in otherwise healthy people and the prognosis.
Good afternoon. I'm Bryan Adams. I'm an interventional cardiologist at Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. Today, I want to talk to you about a unique syndrome called broken heart syndrome, also known as stress induced cardiomyopathy or, or uniquely Takasu Bo cardiomyopathy. Somebody was really first described in the 90s and poorly understood for a long time. But over the past 30 years, we've grown to have a much higher, greater understanding of the syndrome. It's even thought that perhaps it dates as far back as where the expression of scared to death comes from. So really multiple things can cause it, but some type of shocking event, death of a family member. Thus the broken heart syndrome or something terrifying happens, it scares you. Um acute illness can cause it. Lots of different things can really bring it about. But essentially the heart gets overwhelmed by adrenaline. Instead of like most of the experience that squeezes harder races are heart, helps us to run away, it can become overwhelmed and essentially stop functioning appropriately, stop squeezing the way it's meant to and looks in a particular pattern like an octopus track in Japan, which is where the name comes from. So the front of the heart instead of squeezing balloons outward, and the base of the heart squeezes harder. And that can actually cause sudden cardiac death, heart failure, chest pain can really mimic a heart attack. And in fact, that's how it's really come to our forefront. Quite a bit in interventional cardiology is a lot of these patients were called about, we bring them to the cath lab, their arteries are normal, Their arteries look okay even though the RE KG looks like a heart attack. And that's when we've discovered to be looking for this condition. The good news is most of these resolve on their own after about 2-4 weeks with medication alone and some time obviously, it can be life threatening, but the vast majority do pretty well.