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Inflammation in takotsubo cardiomyopathy: insights from cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging

  • Magnetic Resonance
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Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TTC) is an increasingly recognised acute cardiac syndrome, whose underlying pathophysiological mechanisms remain unknown. Inflammation might play a role as this has been shown in endomyocardial biopsies. The aim of this study was to assess inflammatory parameters in patients with TTC using a comprehensive cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging (CMR) approach.


Thirty-seven patients with the suspected diagnosis of TTC underwent CMR. T2-weighted imaging to calculate the oedema ratio, T1-weighted imaging before and after contrast agent administration to calculate the global relative enhancement (gRE), and late gadolinium enhancement (LGE) imaging were performed.


In 11 patients CMR revealed the diagnosis of myocardial infarction (n = 7; 19%) or myocarditis (n = 4; 11%) with typical patterns of LGE. In all other patients (n = 26; 70%), no LGE was detected consistent with the diagnosis of TTC. Of these, in 16 patients (62%) both inflammatory markers (oedema ratio and gRE) were elevated with concomitant pericardial effusion, indicating acute inflammation. Follow-up CMR after 3 months showed complete normalisation of left ventricular function and inflammatory parameters in the absence of LGE and pericardial effusion.


This CMR study provides further insights into the pathophysiological mechanisms in TTC, supporting the contribution of an inflammatory process in the acute setting.

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Correspondence to Ingo Eitel.

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Eitel, I., Lücke, C., Grothoff, M. et al. Inflammation in takotsubo cardiomyopathy: insights from cardiovascular magnetic resonance imaging. Eur Radiol 20, 422–431 (2010).

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