Left ventricular myocardial deformation in Takotsubo syndrome: a cardiovascular magnetic resonance myocardial feature tracking study



This study assessed the applicability and prognostic value of cardiovascular magnetic resonance (CMR) left ventricular deformation analysis in Takotsubo syndrome (TTS).


CMR-feature tracking was performed blinded in a core laboratory to determine circumferential (CS), radial (RS) and longitudinal strain (LS) in 141 TTS patients participating in this cohort study. A subgroup of consecutive TTS patients (n = 20) was compared with age- and sex-matched controls with anterior ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) and non-STEMI as well as healthy subjects.


Median global CS, RS and LS were -19%, 19% and -12%, respectively. Apical ballooning was associated with significantly lower global CS (p < 0.01) and LS (p < 0.01) compared with midventricular and basal ballooning. Global RS was lowest in patients with basal ballooning (p < 0.01). Segmental analysis resulted in a reliable discrimination of different ballooning patterns using CS and LS. Strain values were significantly lower in TTS compared with non-STEMI patients and healthy subjects, whereas STEMI patients showed similar values. While global CS and RS were not associated with long-term mortality, global LS (cutoff -14.75%) was identified as a potential parameter for long-term risk stratification (mortality rate 17.9% versus 2.5%; p = 0.02).


The transient contraction abnormalities in TTS can be quantitatively assessed with CMR-feature tracking. GLS is a potential determinant of outcome in TTS, which, however, requires further validation.

Key Points

Cardiovascular magnetic resonance myocardial feature tracking enables accurate assessment of regional and global left ventricular dysfunction in Takotsubo syndrome (TTS).

Global strain in TTS is similar to patients with anterior STEMI and lower compared with non-STEMI and healthy subjects.

Global longitudinal strain is a potential tool for risk prediction in TTS patients.

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Cardiovascular magnetic resonance


Cardiovascular magnetic resonance myocardial feature tracking


Circumferential strain


Global circumferential strain


Global longitudinal strain


Global radial strain


Interquartile range


Longitudinal strain


Left ventricular


Non-ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction


Radial strain


Steady state-free precession


ST-segment elevation myocardial infarction


Time to peak


Transthoracic echocardiography


Takotsubo syndrome


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The authors are grateful for the financial support provided by the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).


This study has received funding by the German Center for Cardiovascular Research (DZHK).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Ingo Eitel.

Ethics declarations


The scientific guarantors of this publication are Ingo Eitel and Andreas Schuster.

Conflict of interest

The authors of this manuscript declare no relationships with any companies, whose products or services may be related to the subject matter of the article.

Statistics and biometry

One of the authors has significant statistical expertise.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all subjects (patients) in this study.

Ethical approval

Institutional Review Board approval was obtained.


• Retrospective analysis of prospectively collected data

• Observational diagnostic and prognostic study

• Multicenter study

Additional information

Thomas Stiermaier and Torben Lange should be considered as first authors.

Andreas Schuster and Ingo Eitel should be considered as senior authors.

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Stiermaier, T., Lange, T., Chiribiri, A. et al. Left ventricular myocardial deformation in Takotsubo syndrome: a cardiovascular magnetic resonance myocardial feature tracking study. Eur Radiol 28, 5160–5170 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00330-018-5475-2

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  • Takotsubo cardiomyopathy
  • Ventricular function, left
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Strain
  • Prognosis