Takotsubo syndrome and complete heart block, which came first? A case report

Mohammad Khurram Nadeem*, Jason Leo Walsh, Simon Davies, Jonathan M. Behar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: In 2018, the European Society of Cardiology published two consensus documents on takotsubo syndrome (TTS), which include the current consensus on nomenclature, diagnosis, management, and complications. However, little is mentioned on the association with complete heart block (CHB), except that 'AV block [occurs in] 2.9% of cases'. Complete heart block is a recognized rare association of TTS, but causation is often unclear. Does CHB trigger TTS or vice-versa? Here, we present a case of TTS associated with CHB. Case summary: An 89-year-old woman presented with a transient loss of consciousness, acute chest pain, and dyspnoea. A few days prior to this her daughter died suddenly of a myocardial infarction. On presentation, troponin levels were elevated, the electrocardiogram showed CHB with a broad QRS and an echo showed apical akinesis and ballooning. Angiographic investigation excluded significant coronary artery disease. A dual-chamber pacemaker was implanted after a brief period of temporary pacing. Ventricular function normalized during follow-up and her underlying rhythm remained CHB. Discussion: Takotsubo syndrome may be triggered by both emotional and physical stressors. Complete heart block is recognized association, but causation is often unclear. In our case, a clear emotional trigger was identified suggesting the TTS may have precipitated CHB not vice versa.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberytab500
JournalEuropean Heart Journal - Case Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2022


  • Case report
  • Complete heart block
  • Stress-induced cardiomyopathy
  • Takotsubo syndrome


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