Takosubo cardiomyopathy not only is a very exotic, difficult to spell syndrome, it is also quite unique. The best way to describe this condition is as a “broken heart” problem.

This occurs more often in women than men and unlike true heart attacks seems to happen more during the day than at night. These patients present with severe chest pain and blood tests that in most conditions would indicate a heart attack with heart failure.

Of course these patients then undergo cardiac catheterization, a study in which dye is injected into the coronary arteries (the arteries which supply the heart). And unlike a true heart attack, these arteries appear perfectly normal, without narrowing seen in heart attacks.

The patients who have this condition have usually experienced a very recent bad situation such as death of a loved one, divorce, kid problems and so forth. The emotional shock then somehow causes the heart to become less functional-the heart muscle just doesn’t work as well, almost as if the heart were stunned as well.

The good news is that these patients do very well. Once the heart recovers, there is no residual damage.

Takosubo cardiomyopathy is just one of many, many diseases which stress seems to cause.