Introduction Takotsubo syndrome (TTS) is an acute heart failure syndrome usually associated with rapid and spontaneous recovery of left ventricular (LV) function. However, approximately 10% of patients have persistent symptoms and seek further medical advice.
Purpose To determine the cardiovascular haemodynamic and LV contractile response to exercise in these TTS survivors with ongoing symptoms.
Methods This was a case-control study of 20 symptomatic patients with previous TTS referred for treadmill exercise echocardiography (EE), and 20 age-, sex- and ethnicity-matched control subjects with normal treadmill EE. Among the TTS group, EE was performed at a median of 8 months (mean 17±21 months) following the index event. Demographic characteristics, resting and EE data were collected. LV ejection fraction (EF) was measured at rest and peak stress. Global longitudinal and circumferential strain (GLS, GCS) were measured at rest.
Results All 20 TTS patients were Caucasian postmenopausal females (mean age 63.5 ± 6.6 years). There were no significant differences in body mass index (BMI), resting heart rate (HR) and the prevalence of cardiovascular risk factors compared to controls. Resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP, DBP) were higher in TTS patients (144±17 mmHg versus 128±18 mmHg, and 81±10 mmHg versus 74±9 mmHg, respectively). A comparative analysis of the resting and stress echo data is given in table 1. The stress echo data showed similar exercise time and peak HR, but higher peak SBP in TTS patients. TTS patients had blunted contractile response to exercise with lower peak LVEF, ΔLVEF (exercise minus resting EF) and peak wall motion score index (WMSI) compared to controls. Among the 20 TTS patients, 12 had exercise-induced wall motion abnormalities: 6 involved the apical segments and 6 developed global dysfunction. In these 12 patients, the mean ΔLVEF was reduced (4%). In the other 8 patients, the ΔLVEF was 16% and pooled the TTS cohort had blunted contractile response with exercise compared to controls (ΔLVEF 8% vs. 19% in the control group, p=0.001).
Conclusion Our study shows that symptomatic patients with previous TTS have a blunted contractile response to exercise manifest as reversible apical or global LV dysfunction. These findings might indicate the need for treatment. Further systematic investigation of the therapeutic and prognostic implications of this reversible exercise-induced myocardial dysfunction is needed.
Conflict of Interest no
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