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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy following traumatic hand amputation


Takotsubo or stress cardiomyopathy is a syndrome of transient left ventricular systolic dysfunction seen in the absence of obstructive coronary artery disease. We describe a case of stress cardiomyopathy diagnosed in the emergency department (ED) using point of care ultrasound (POCUS) associated with traumatic hand amputation.  The patient suffered a near-complete amputation of the right hand while using a circular saw, subsequently complicated by brief cardiac arrest with rapid return of spontaneous circulation. Point-of-care ultrasonography in the ED revealed the classic findings of takotsubo cardiomyopathy, including apical ballooning of the left ventricle and hyperkinesis of the basal walls with a severely reduced ejection fraction. After formalization of the amputation and cardiovascular evaluation, the patient was discharged from the hospital in stable condition ten days later. Emergency physicians should be aware of the possibility of stress cardiomyopathy as a cause for acute decompensation, even in isolated extremity trauma.

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