, Volume 6, Issue 3, pp 221-226
Date: 17 Nov 2010

Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy: is there a preferred time of onset?

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The occurrence of major cardiovascular events is not randomly distributed over time, but exhibits chronobiological patterns, i.e., circadian, weekly, or seasonal. No systematic studies on the temporal preference of onset of Tako-tsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) are known. We performed a computer-assisted search of the literature (from 2000 to January 2010), with the following search terms: transient left ventricular apical ballooning syndrome, takotsubo-like left ventricular dysfunction, ampulla cardiomyopathy, tako-tsubo or takotsubo cardiomyopathy, tako-tsubo, apical ballooning. Criteria for publication inclusion were (a) reporting of original data, (b) inclusion of at least 30 or more cases, (c) adherence to the requested diagnostic criteria for TTC. We focused on studies including in their purposes the “time of onset” of events. Out of the 19 studies found, 7 (4 from Europe, 1 each from Asia, Australia and USA) specifically addressed this aspect. A circadian (morning) and a seasonal (summer) higher frequency of events was found. TTC seems to exhibit a temporal variation of onset, with preferred peaks during morning and summer. Stress and catecholamines, also according to their temporal organization, might play a pivotal role. The demonstration of time frames characterized by highest frequency of occurrence might help to try to ensure maximal protection during particularly vulnerable periods.