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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy Presenting as Wellens’ Syndrome


Takotsubo cardiomyopathy, also known as apical ballooning syndrome and stress cardiomyopathy, is a transient systolic and diastolic left ventricular dysfunction with a variety of cardiac wall-motion abnormalities that is increasingly being associated with significant morbidity and mortality.  Wellens’ syndrome is an electrocardiographic pattern in a pain-free patient that is indicative of critical occlusion of the left anterior descending coronary artery requiring immediate cardiac catheterization.  The authors report a case of a patient presenting with electrocardiographic findings consistent with Wellens’ syndrome that was later found to have Takotsubo cardiomyopathy with angiographically normal coronary arteries on cardiac catheterization after a seizure.

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