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How do you determine if one has Takostubo cardiomyopathy? 

What is the detailed procedure for determining if one has Takotsubo cardiomyopathy versus side effects to medication such as Bystolic? 

submitted by Rebecca from Houston, Texas on 3/4/2013


by Texas Heart Institute cardiologist, Domingo G. Gonzalez, Jr., MD  

Domingo G. Gonzalez, Jr., MD Takotsubo, or as it is more widely known, stress cardiomyopathy [or broken heart syndrome] is a diagnosis of exclusion. It presents primarily in middle-aged women with a trigger of some type of stress. The stress can be physical or emotional. The patient presents with classic angina symptoms and the ECG is consistent with an acute heart attack. Since the treatment of acute heart attack is to open the artery that is blocked, these patients are usually taken to the cath lab where an invasive angiogram is performed. The findings are of open arteries that are normal or near normal with the left ventrical extremely weak and often contracting only the base of the heart muscle. At this time, the patient is at risk of dying from low BP or heart rhythm problems. If the patient survives in the short term, his/her ventricle normalizes function in a few weeks. Alternatively, a CT angiogram can be used to diagnose as well. Bystolic is an accepted treatment for weak hearts and is not known to cause this type of complication. On the contrary, it is useful.  

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Updated March 2013
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