Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study offers clues to 'Broken Heart Syndrome'

14.05.2007
Largest US registry of patients with takotsubo cardiomyopathy aids physicians in diagnosis, management

The causes of "broken heart syndrome" remain a mystery, but doctors will soon have an easier time recognizing and treating this rare, life-threatening condition, thanks to data being reported at the 30th Annual Scientific Sessions of the Society for Cardiovascular Angiography and Interventions (SCAI), May 9–12, 2007, in Orlando, FL.

Researchers from Brown University in Providence, RI, have developed the largest registry of patients in the United States with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, informally known as broken heart syndrome because it is often preceded by an emotional or physical shock of some kind and almost always strikes women. One thing is certain: Patients are usually critically ill during the first 48 hours.

"These patients can be difficult to manage for emergency physicians and cardiologists alike," said cardiology fellow Richard Regnante, M.D. "They may be in cardiac arrest, cardiogenic shock, or severe heart failure. They may require advanced life support with airway management and medications to support blood pressure."

In fact, based on symptoms, electrocardiographic (ECG) tracings, and blood tests for heart damage, it often seems as if the patient is having a heart attack. The mystery deepens in the cardiac catheterization laboratory, when the interventional cardiologist finds no blockage in the coronary arteries.

To date, the registry has enrolled 40 patients diagnosed with Takotsubo cardiomyopathy at two major hospitals in Rhode Island over a period of nearly 2½ years. Ninety-five percent were women, and 60 percent experienced some type of stress shortly before coming to the emergency room. The intensity of the stress varied dramatically, however, ranging from armed robbery to a heated argument, tooth extraction, or preparation for a colonoscopy.

"We don't know why some women develop this syndrome after what appears to be minimal stress, while other women experience severely stressful events but don't develop Takotsubo cardiomyopathy," Dr. Regnante said. A surge of stress hormones likely plays a role, he said, but it is also possible that a blood clot temporarily blocks a major artery of the heart, then dissolves before being detected during coronary angiography.

The most common symptom of broken heart syndrome was chest pain, in 70 percent of patients, followed by shortness of breath in 33 percent. All patients had ECG changes suggestive of an acute coronary syndrome, a term that encompasses both heart attack and unstable angina. Troponin-I, a blood test for heart damage, was positive in 95 percent of patients. Twenty percent of patients were unable to breathe on their own and needed a respirator. In all patients, cardiac catheterization showed characteristic abnormalities in the motion of the heart. One patient died of acute heart failure.

The good news is that most patients who survived the first 48 hours had a steady recovery. Thirty one, or 78 percent, of patients had follow-up echocardiography within a few weeks. Heart function was found to be normal in 29 of 30.

Dr. Regnante said that long-term follow-up will be critical to improved understanding of Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. In addition, he and his colleagues are gathering information on patients who have intravascular ultrasound during cardiac catheterization. This imaging test, in which a tiny ultrasound probe is threaded into the coronary arteries on the tip of a catheter, may show whether the patient has clogged arteries or unstable plaques that are not visible on coronary angiography. These findings will help guide long-term treatment.

"Because we don't yet know what causes this phenomenon, we don't know what the best long-term management should include," he said. "As we gather more information on these patients, we can start to understand who is affected by Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, offer more focused long-term care, and make predictions about their outcomes."

Kathy Boyd David | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.scai.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Terahertz spectroscopy goes nano

20.10.2017 | Information Technology

Strange but true: Turning a material upside down can sometimes make it softer

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>