The natural history of takotsubo syndrome: a two-year follow-up study with myocardial sympathetic and perfusion G-SPECT imaging

  • Stelvio SestiniEmail author
  • Francesco Pestelli
  • Mario Leoncini
  • Francesco Bellandi
  • Christian Mazzeo
  • Luigi Mansi
  • Ignasi Carrio
  • Antonio Castagnoli
Original Article



To investigate changes in sympathetic activity, perfusion, and left ventricular (LV) functionality in takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) patients from onset (T0) to post-onset conditions at 1 month (T1), 1-2 years (T2, T3).


Twenty-two patients (70 ± 11 years) underwent serial gated single photon emission tomography (G-SPECT) studies with 123I-mIBG and 99mTc-Sestamibi. Statistics were performed using ANOVA/Sheffé post-hoc, correlation test, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis (p < 0.05).


Patients presented at T0 with LV ballooning and reduced early-late mIBG uptake (95%, 100%), left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF)G-SPECT (86%) and perfusion (77 %). Adrenergic dysfunction was greater in apex, it overlaps with contractile impairment, and both were more severe than perfusion defect. During follow-up, LVEFG-SPECT, contractility, and perfusion were normal, while 82% and 90% of patients at T1 and 50% at T2 and T3 continued to show a reduced apical early-late mIBG distribution. These patients presented at T0-T1 with greater impairment of adrenergic function, contractility, and perfusion. A relationship was present within innervation and both perfusion and contractile parameters at T0 and T1, and between the extent of adrenergic defect at T3 and both the defect extent and age at T0 (cut-off point 42.5%, 72 years).


Outcome for TTC is not limited to a reversible contractile and perfusion abnormalities, but it includes residual adrenergic dysfunction, depending on the level of adrenergic impairment and age of patients at onset. The number of patients, as well as degree of perfusion abnormalities were found to be higher than those previously reported possibly depending on the time-interval between hospital admission and perfusion scan.


Takotsubo syndrome mIBG Myocardial perfusion 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Deptartment of Diagnostic ImagingNuclear Medicine Unit, N.O.P. - S. Stefano, U.S.L. Toscana CentroPratoItaly
  2. 2.Deptartment of Internal MedicineCardiovascular Unit, N.O.P. - S. Stefano, U.S.L, Toscana CentroPratoItaly
  3. 3.Deptartment of Diagnostic ImagingNuclear Medicine Unit, University II NaplesNaplesItaly
  4. 4.Nuclear MedicineHospital Sant PauBarcelonaSpain

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