Broken heart or Takotsubo syndrome was first identified and described as a specific heart condition just a few years ago. The symptoms of the life-threatening disease are similar to those of myocardial infarction, which makes diagnosis difficult. As little was known about the condition for a long time, it was also deemed to be temporary and benign. However, if the condition goes undiagnosed, or is treated too late or incorrectly, it can prove fatal.
Triggers for the acute heart problems include emotionally intense, stressful events and situations such as the death of a relative or losing a job, but also winning the lottery or receiving a marriage proposal. The disease often affects women.
Expert consensus clarifies process for diagnosis and treatment
Until recently, there were no guidelines for diagnosis and treatment of the condition, and little was known about the risk factors. Now, 46 cardiologists from around the world have developed the first international consensus on Takotsubo syndrome, defining consistent diagnosis criteria and treatment recommendations and reporting the latest findings regarding the risk factors. Published in the European Society of Cardiology’s European Heart Journal, the guidelines are considered the current standard for Takotsubo.
Dr. med. Jelena-Rima Ghadri and Prof. Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat. Christian Templin from University Hospital Zurich’s Department of Cardiology both played a key role in the consensus. The two cardiologists have built up the largest registry on this disease at the University Heart Center in Zurich. The Department of Cardiology with its two cardiologists and team is a world leader in treating and researching broken heart syndrome.
The new guidelines offer doctors up-to-date information on how to diagnose and treat broken heart syndrome. They also raise doctors’ awareness of this long-neglected disease, which could be a lifesaver for patients all around the world.
Prof. Dr. med. Dr. rer. nat. Christian Templin
Department of Cardiology