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R I Med J (2013). 2013 Jun 4;96(6):33-5.

A case of intracranial hemorrhage causing stress-induced cardiomyopathy.

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Internal medicine resident at The Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.


The classic finding of Takotsubo's cardiomyopathy is left ventricular systolic dysfunction with echocardiographic evidence of apical ballooning in the absence of significant coronary disease. Intracranial hemorrhage is a known cause for stress-induced cardiomyopathy with a similar echocardiographic presentation. This diagnostic finding suggests a similar pathophysiologic mechanism between neurogenic cardiac damage and the wide array of medical and psychosocial disorders that are known to cause stress-induced cardiomyopathy (Takotsubo's syndrome). The neurogenic-cardiac variant of stress-induced cardiomyopathy is associated with good cardiovascular prog- nosis; the hallmark feature of the disorder is complete echocardiographic resolution of systolic dysfunction within a short period of time. While malignant presentations are rare, the disorder can present as severe heart failure or ventricular tachyarrhythmias. We report a case of a near life-threatening episode of polymorphic ventricular tachycardia due to a subarachnoid hemorrhage (SAH)-induced stress-cardiomyopathy.


Takotsubo’s cardiomyopathy; arrhythmia; echocardiogram; intracranial hemorrhage

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