Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy

What is Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy?

Also known as acute stress-induced cardiomyopathy, apical ballooning or broken heart syndrome, Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy is a sudden, temporary weakening of your heart muscle, often because of intense emotional or physical stress.

What are the symptoms?

The initial symptoms of Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy are very similar to those of a heart attack, for example chest pain, breathlessness or collapse.

How is it diagnosed?

Unlike with a heart attack, there is no evidence of narrowing or blockage of the arteries. Instead, the heart muscle is not working properly, and the bottom left chamber of the heart (known as the left ventricle) is significantly larger than normal.

Doctors will need to do further tests, such as an echocardiogram or magnetic resonance imaging, to confirm the diagnosis.

To find out more about Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy, including what causes it, how it is diagnosed and how it is treated, see the CHSS factsheet Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy.