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Korean J Intern Med. 2011 Dec;26(4):455-9. doi: 10.3904/kjim.2011.26.4.455. Epub 2011 Nov 28.

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy: a case of persistent apical ballooning complicated by an apical mural thrombus.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) is an infrequent cardiac syndrome characterized by acute onset chest pain with apical ballooning on echocardiography. It is often triggered by severe emotional or physical stress, and in contrast to acute myocardial infarction (AMI), the regional wall motion abnormality returns to normal within days. Here, we describe a 62-year-old female who presented with acute onset chest pain during treatment for a liver abscess. We presumed a diagnosis of AMI because of ST segment elevation on electrocardiography and elevated cardiac enzyme levels. However, the patient's coronary arteries were normal on angiography, and apical ballooning was seen on echocardiography. A diagnosis of TTC was made, and the patient was managed with intensive cardiopulmonary support using vasopressors in our hospital's medical intensive care unit. The patient's symptoms improved, but persistent severe left ventricular dysfunction was detected on follow-up echocardiography. After 5 weeks, a new apical mural thrombus appeared, and anticoagulation therapy was started. The apical ballooning persisted 3 months later, although the patient's overall ejection fraction was slightly improved. The apical thrombus was completely resolved without any embolic event. Non-adrenergic inotropics can be recommended in TTC with shock, and clinicians should keep in mind the potential risk of thrombus formation and cardioembolism.


Persistent apical ballooning; Takotsubo cardiomyopathy; Thrombus

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