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Year : 2010  |  Volume : 56  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 209-211

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy presenting as postoperative atrial fibrillation

Department of Cardiology, Watford General Hospital, Vicarage Road, Watford, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
N R Shah
Department of Cardiology, Watford General Hospital, Vicarage Road, Watford, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0022-3859.68631

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Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC) is a condition which was first acknowledged in Japan and is characterized by a reversible systolic dysfunction of the apical or mid segments of the left ventricle. Typically affecting women in the post-menopausal population, it is triggered by intense emotional, physical or medical stress. Also known as apical ballooning syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy, TC derives its name from the left ventricular angiographic appearance of a 'Takotsubo', literally translated as an 'octopus fishing trap' in Japanese. Patients often describe chest pain, have ischemic electrocardiogram (ECG) changes and positive cardiac enzymes mimicking an acute coronary syndrome. Obstructive coronary artery disease is excluded with prompt cardiac catheterization. We present the case of a 78-year-old lady, post gynecological surgery, presenting with palpitations and ECG confirming fast atrial fibrillation. Despite spontaneous cardioversion, she went on to develop ECG changes and cardiac enzyme elevations suggestive of an acute myocardial infarction. Cardiac catheterization was performed and confirmed the diagnosis of TC. It highlights an atypical presentation of TC, which can present initially as an arrhythmia in the postoperative phase as a consequence of the supraphysiological effects of elevated circulating plasma catecholamines. It reiterates the importance of prompt diagnosis and treatment to prevent cardiac decompensation in a condition poorly understood.


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Online since 12th February '04
2004 - Journal of Postgraduate Medicine
Official Publication of the Staff Society of the Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India
Published by Wolters Kluwer - Medknow