Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as broken heart syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy, is a form of transient left ventricular dysfunction. Severe apical and mid left ventricular hypokinesis with hypercontractility of the basal segments is observed. Numerous underlying causes and pathophysiological mechanisms have been proposed including sudden sympathetic activation and increase in the circulating levels of catecholamines resulting in multivessel coronary spasm. Another possible mechanism related to catecholamine-mediated myocardial stunning is direct myocyte injury. Increasing data show that endothelial dysfunction and depleted nitric oxide bioavailability are common in patients with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. In this chapter we examine in depth the relation between endothelial dysfunction and Takotsubo syndrome.
Part of the book: Differential Diagnosis of Chest Pain