Takotsubo cardiomyopathy presenting with dyspnea
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy (TC), or “broken heart syndrome”, is an increasingly recognized condition that mimics acute myocardial infarction with morphologically characteristic left ventricular dysfunction in the absence of coronary artery disease. TC is seen almost exclusively in postmenopausal women following extreme emotional or physiologic stress. Although most patients present with chest pain, limited data suggest that African American patients with TC tend to present with atypical symptoms such as dyspnea or nausea. We present a 57 year‐old African American female with TC who presented with severe dyspnea following the shooting death of her son. Added to existing data, our case alerts clinicians to consider Takotsubo syndrome in African American patients with atypical presentation. Journal of Hospital Medicine 2009;4:200‐202. © 2009 Society of Hospital Medicine.