Stress cardiomyopathy (tako-tsubo) triggered by nervous system diseases: A systematic review of the reported cases

Italo Porto, Roberta Della Bona, Andrea Leo, Riccardo Proietti, Maurizio Pieroni, Carlo Caltagirone, Gianfranco Spalletta, Leonardo Bolognese, Luca Cravello

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background It is not clarified whether the transient, regional left ventricular dysfunction (TRLVD) associated with several neurological disorders shares the same pathophysiology with the classical tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy occurring without overt neurological disease, and whether it is appropriate to include these patients in a single stress cardiomyopathy (SCM) condition. Methods In February 2012, we systematically explored major electronic medical information sources to identify cases of TRLVD triggered by neurological disorders. Results The 81 selected papers reported a total of 124 patients, suffering from neurological disorders, in whom TRLVD occurred: 117 with central nervous system diseases, 6 with peripheral nervous system diseases and 1 with both systems involved. Most patients were females (n = 102), mean age was 63 ± 15 years, and the majority presented with an apex-involving pattern. The most common disease described was subarachnoid hemorrhage (n = 52), followed by stroke/transient ischemic attack (n = 24), and seizures (n = 18). TRLVD in neurological patients was often associated with need of inotropic support, orotracheal intubation, cerebrovascular spasm and delayed surgery. Conclusions TRLVD is a complication of neurological diseases, in particular in female patients in post-menopausal phase. The predilection for neurological damage at or close to the insular cortex highlights the pivotal role of sympathetic over-activation. Many other similarities with tako-tsubo support the inclusion in a single SCM category.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2441-2448
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Cardiology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Nervous system disease
  • Stress cardiomyopathy
  • Tako-tsubo

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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