Heart Beat

Health & Nutrition - - JUST LAUNCHED - Dr Ajit R Menon, In­ter­ven­tional Car­di­ol­o­gist

Afriend re­cently spent a week in the hospi­tal with what she was di­ag­nosed as ‘bro­ken heart syn­drome’. What is it? Amita Shah, Ra­jkot

‘Bro­ken heart syn­drome’ is a com­mon ter­mi­nol­ogy for stress car­diomy­opa­thy which is char­ac­ter­ized by a tran­sient di­lata­tion of one cham­ber of the heart which ac­tu­ally mim­ics a heart at­tack but when you do a coro­nary an­giogram, you do not find any ev­i­dence of block­ages or plaque rup­tures. The med­i­cal ter­mi­nol­ogy for this is ‘Takot­subo’ which is taken from the Ja­panese name for an oc­to­pus trap, which is seen in the ap­pear­ance of the heart in the 2D echocar­dio­gram in this dis­or­der. The rea­son for this has not been very well un­der­stood but it is known that it af­fects post-menopausal women dis­pro­por­tion­ately and it usu­ally af­fects the left ven­tri­cle. The trig­ger for the on­set of this con­di­tion is usu­ally se­vere phys­i­cal or emo­tional stress (ex­am­ple – death of a rel­a­tive, se­vere ar­gu­ments, dev­as­tat­ing fi­nan­cial disaster etc). The treat­ment nor­mally re­mains symp­to­matic once it is di­ag­nosed and other con­di­tions are ruled out.

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