The left ventricle is the main pumping chamber of the heart. Oxygen-rich blood is pumped out of the heart when it squeezes, to supply the organs and tissues of the body.

In takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC), part of the left ventricle temporarily changes shape and becomes larger, often in response to intense emotional or physical stress. When this happens, it’s harder for your heart to pump blood effectively.

The condition was first described in 1990 and gets its name from a type of Japanese octopus trap (takotsubo). The shape of the left ventricle in people with this type of cardiomyopathy appears similar to these traps.

You can also see it as:

  • There is a broken heart syndrome.
  • cardiomyopathy stress
  • Apical ballooning syndrome can be caused by a variety of diseases.

We don’t know the true number of cases of TC. It’s estimated to happen in 1 to 2 percent of people with suspected acute coronary syndrome, a group of conditions, such as heart attack, where blood flow to the heart is cut off.

TC mainly affects older adults. It’s much more common in people assigned female at birth. In fact, this group makes up about 90 percent of all TC diagnoses.

Extreme physical and emotional stress can bring on TC. However, almost 30 percent of people will have no identifiable trigger. Some examples of potential triggers for TC include:

  • A loved one has died.
  • financial loss
  • A serious illness.
  • A recent surgery.
  • An accident or serious injury.
  • Domestic abuse or physical assault.
  • There were natural disasters.
  • the COVID-19 pandemic

The exact physical mechanism behind TC isn’t known. One theory is that stress causes the release of large amounts of hormones like adrenaline, which then disrupt the function of the left ventricle.

The most common symptoms of TC include intense chest pain and shortness of breath that come on suddenly.

People with the illness may experience other symptoms.

Is takotsubo cardiomyopathy a kind of heart attack?

The symptoms of TC closely resemble those of a heart attack. In fact, many people with this condition are initially thought to be having a heart attack.

The mechanisms behind the two conditions are different.

TC happens when the left ventricle changes its shape and becomes larger, typically in response to stress. A heart attack happens when blood flow to a part of the heart has been cut off, often due to the effects of heart disease.

The diagnosis of TC involves ruling out heart attack and other heart conditions. While a doctor takes your medical history, they may ask if you’ve gone through an intense period of stress lately.

Some of the tests that doctors may use are listed.

  • electrocardiogram (EKG), a test that measures the electrical activity in your heart
  • echocardiogram, a type of ultrasound that lets your doctor view the structure of your heart, including its valves and chambers
  • blood tests for things like troponin, BNP, and creatine kinase, which may be elevated with some heart conditions
  • heart MRI scan, which can also give your doctor a more detailed view of your heart’s structure
  • angiogram, a procedure that combines the use of X-rays and a special dye from a catheter threaded to your heart to show blood flow through your heart’s blood vessels

Changes in structure can be seen with the use of an iwth. An angiogram can help rule out a heart problem as the cause of your symptoms.

There’s no standard treatment for TC. A 2020 review article on the condition also notes that there have been no clinical trials to evaluate different treatment options for TC.

A doctor may prescribe some drugs to help you recover. These can include:

There are several possible problems with the TC. Some can be serious.

Let us answer some of the remaining questions about the subject.

Can you die from takotsubo cardiomyopathy?

Yes, it’s possible to die from TC. Some estimates have put the mortality rate for TC at about 4.1 percent.

How long does it take to heal from takotsubo cardiomyopathy?

Most people recover completely from TC. It’s estimated that about 95 percent of people with TC will have full heart function within several weeks.

Can anxiety cause takotsubo cardiomyopathy?

Since TC can be brought on by intense emotional stress, it’s possible for anxiety to lead to an episode.

A 2015 study found that rates of mental health conditions, including anxiety, were higher in people with TC than in those with acute coronary syndrome.

Is takotsubo cardiomyopathy permanent?

Many people who have TC won’t have another episode. However, recurrences can happen weeks or even years later. It’s estimated that about 5 percent of people with TC will have a recurrence.

Can takotsubo cardiomyopathy be prevented?

There is no way to prevent it. Some things may help.

If you have chronic (long-term) stress, a doctor may recommend finding effective ways to reduce your stress levels. They may also suggest managing any underlying mental health conditions like anxiety.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a heart condition where the left ventricle gets bigger. It is brought on by physical or emotional stress.

The symptoms of a heart attack are similar to those of the TC. Because of this, a diagnosis involves ruling out a heart attack or other heart conditions as the cause of your symptoms.

There is no standard treatment for the condition. Most people regain their heart function after a heart attack.